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My chief object in publishing this Journal of a / 
three months' tour in America is to induce other 
Englishmen to go and judge for themselves what 
manner of people their American cousins really are, 
by making trial of their heartiness and hospitality. 
They will return, I believe, impressed, as I am, with 
a conviction that any one who can contribute in the 
smallest degree to make the two nations understand 
one another better, will be doing good service to 
both ; and that this can only be brought about by 
increased social intercourse between them. 

The attractious offered by a European tour bring 
a large number of Americans to England ; long dis- 
tances are nothing to American travellers ; but the 
number of Englishmen who visit America is com- 
paratively small. Mr. Murray has furnished the 
traveller with a Handbook for every State on the 



Continent of Europe, but has not yet thought 
himself justified in speculating in a Handbook for 

The American travellers who make European 
tours, when they leave their own shores are the most 
conservative part of the American nation. They 
are the successful men, who have made money, and 
are not disposed to be ultra-Republicans in future. 
They have feelings and interests in harmony with 
all that class of Englishmen who are in a position to 
show them hospitality ; but unless they happen to 
come with introductions (and how few Americans 
there are who possess English friends) they return to 
their own country without having seen the inside of 
an English house. They return chilled and estranged, 
willing to believe henceforth anything that they 
may hear about the 'cold shade' and the 'bloated 

The English traveller in America will find men 
much, more accessible. If he be worth knowing, 
everybody will be glad to know him for what he is 
worth : every American's house cannot be walked 
into, like the President's ; but he will find an ab- 
sence of caste distinctions and a freedom of manners 
and intercourse which will put it in his power to 
see more of character, and to understand the people 
better in three months, than an American traveller 
in England can in a year. It is quite the exception 


when this freedom of manners is offensive or in- 
trusive ; an Englishman will generally have to open 
the conversation, if he wishes to converse with a 
stranger. He may confine himself to his own society 
from one end of America to the other if he wishes ; 
but if after promenading from one end of the rail- 
way cars to the other he has selected a promising 
fellow-passenger, he will find no difficulty in getting 
into conversation with him. It is very probable 
that when that fellow-passenger has discovered that 
he is an Englishman on his travels, he will ask him 
to come and stay a day with him ; and if their fur- 
ther acquaintance is pleasant, will press him to stop 
a week ; and when he goes on his way, will volunteer 
introductions to half a dozen friends in different parts 
of the States ; and there he will be received with 
a welcome, and entertained with a hospitality, which 
will make him ashamed for the rest of his life of 
the courtesies of his own land, whenever he thinks 
of a lonely American in a British coffee-room. 

This openness and hospitality make it very diffi- 
cult to write about America ; it is impossible to 
distinguish between what is private and what is 
public. In the land of Freedom there are no com- 
pany manners ; yet the traveller would be in error, 
if he concluded that his host would be gratified at 
finding the conversation at his dinner-table retailed as 
public gossip. The trouble I have taken to eliminate 


personalities from the following pages has been 
very great ; and has resulted in the omission of a 
large part of the Journal, and I fear has somewhat 
injured the interest of what remains. Wherever 
a statement has been retained coupled with a name, 
it has been done in the belief that my informant 
would gladly and without injury to himself maintain 
in public that which he had stated in private. 

To know oneself is not always the best of know- 
ledge, nor ever the whole of it. There is a great 
deal to be gained by knowing one's neighbours. 
One great benefit to be derived from a visit to Ame- 
rica is its tonic effect upon the mind. Hope may 
spring eternal in the human breast in Europe, but 
the yield, the number of gallons per minute at which 
it springs in every breast in America, cannot be 
realised without living in the atmosphere, surrounded 
by the people. To an American nothing appears 
impossible, nothing chimerical. Every man is going 
to make a fortune before he dies. He does not 
believe in luck, he believes in himself ; he knows by 
a thousand examples that a fortune is to be made by 
the poorest man in the States, if he can find out the 
way to get at it. He cannot realise the mental con- 
dition of the agricultural labourer in England whose 
highest dream of possible affluence is £i a- week. 
He has no sympathy with pastoral poetry ; and 
has a suspicion that contentment is a spurious 


kind of virtue invented by the British aristocracy. 
The idea of earning a competency and resting has 
no charm for him. His pleasure is in the work 
itself, in the calculation and the combination and the 
triumph over difficulty. The young men begin work 
before ours go to college, the old men end it at the 
grave. If your son is frivolous, and finds a difficulty 
in selecting that profession which will give most 
scope to his talents, send him to America, and he 
will find that an American will undertake to do any 
work, and will try and do it, and will in the end 
succeed in doing it. 

Geography accounts for a great deal of this elas- 
ticity of temperament ; when you have travelled 
two or three thousand miles by rail through a coun- 
try two-thirds of which are uninclosed, you begin 
to realise the sense of freedom from pressure, of 
abundance of elbow-room, the capacity for going 
out into the middle of a prairie and crowing with 
that abundant boastfulness and prodigality of state- 
ment for which the less cultivated American is 
sometimes conspicuous. When you find that most 
of the States are larger than European Empires, you 
begin to understand the feeling of those who occa- 
sionally tell you that America is a great country. 

I do not pretend to understand American politics. 
Three years' close study might enable an English- 
man to give a correct definition of c a straight line 


Tammany Hall Democrat ' or any other of the ever- 
changing combinations in which politicians group 
themselves ; my three months were spent in wan- 
dering, looking upon the surface of things rather than 
beneath it. The following Journal was written while 
travelling, as the panorama of America was passing 
before my eyes. It was cut off in lengths as writ- 
ten, and sent home in the shape of letters. Sitting 
at home, and reading my letters through again, I 
find they suggest a supplemental chapter or two. 
In these I have put together my facts relating to 
the negro and his chances of surviving, and some 
information respecting the Indians and the proba- 
bility of their extermination. 

I have added also General Meade's official report 
of the action taken by him on the occasion of the 
Fenian raid into Canada ; showing the spirit in 
which he acted, and the care with which the Govern- 
ment of the United States discharged their duty 
towards Great Britain. And I have appended a 
letter written by myself shortly after returning 
to England, on the feeling in America about the 
Alabama claims. 

15 Upper Westbourne Terrace, London, 
Sept. 30, 1867. 



Liverpool miles 


To New York .... 3,100 . . 


To Philadelphia . 

92 . . 


To Baltimore 

98 . . 


To Washington . 

40 . . 


To Richmond 

130 . . 


To Petersburg 

22 . 


To Norfolk 

81 . 


To Charleston 

45i • 


To Augusta 

J 37 • 


To Atlanta 

171 . 


To Mobile . 

301 . 

r 33 

To New Orleans 

182 . 


To San Jaques . 

60 . 


To New Orleans 

60 . 

• 171 

To Salt Island . 

152 . 


To New Orleans 

152 . 


To Havanna 

623 . 


To New York . 

1250 . 


To Niagara 

458 • 

. 219 





To Boston . 

504 • 

• 23I 

To Philadelphia . 

3 2 4 • 

. 248 

To New York . 

88 . 

• 255 

To Liverpool 

3,100 . 

• 259 


The Negro 

The Indian 

The Fenians . 

The Alabama Claims 



2 95 


On board the Cunard Steamer Cuba, 

Dec. 12, 1866. 
My Dear A 


Page 32, line 20, for Ferrapins read Terrapins. 

62, „ 20, for 49,000 tons read 49,000 lbs. 
» 2 °0, „ 24, for Loudres read Londres, 

of M. F. Tupper. After I sent off my last letter to 
you from Queenstown Harbour, I began to be grie- 
vously afflicted, in fact that letter was finished very 
abruptly and under great difficulties. 

We made a very bad start of it, and had rough 



weather for the first three days of our voyage, during 
all which time I was more or less unwell, generally 
more. Memory then presents an enormous vista of 
unsteady meals. Meals are so frequent on board a 
Cunarder, and so punctual, and the time between 
them has so little incident, that at least one half of 
that period seems to have been meal times. The 
eating and drinking are supposed to be good on 
board this ship ; but to my sea-sick palate for a long 
time everything tasted as though it had been cooked 
by steam ; and all in the same pot, for everything 
tasted just like everything else ; and I think the 
pot must have been the ship's boiler, for everything 
tasted, not only of everything else, but there was 
a taste of the ship Cuba in particular. 

On Saturday, the day week after we started, we 
had a tremendously stormy night, — the worst night 
in my recollection. The sea ran very high ; we 
shipped great waves, and rolled to larboard, rolled 
to starboard, painfully. Lying flat in my berth ; at 
every roll of the ship to the right, I was tilted up 
on edge on to my right side ; at every roll to the 
left, I was tilted up on my left side. The troubled 
sleep of Doctor Watts' sluggard, who simply turned 
' like a door on its hinges,' was nothing to this. 
I had to work on two sets of hinges, and every now 
and then was slammed to unpleasantly hard against 
the side of the berth. At every roll of the ship 

Voyage out. 3 

came a sound like the undertow of a wave dragging 
the shingle down the beach as it retires. This was 
produced by all the loose articles in the ship pro- 
menading from one side of the cabins to the other. 
Everything put upon shelves and ledges joined the 
portmanteaus and hatboxes on the floor ; and there 
was a vacant cabin next to ours, in which the 
steward had stowed away the foot-baths and water- 

I lay awake nearly the whole long night, listening 
to the angry slash with which each wave's crest 
swished like a scourge across the ship ; fell asleep 
in the morning, and dreamt that the ship was still 
steaming on, but about forty feet under the surface 
of the sea. One fellow-passenger omitted to stow 
away his water-jug in the proper holdfast ; and left 
it standing in the basin by the bedside. In the 
middle of the night it decanted itself gently over 
him as he lay in his berth ; which added vividly to 
the general effect and vague idea of shipwreck. 
I assure you it was a positive comfort when the 
stokers began to clear out the cinders at daybreak ; 
it was as though the housemaid was up and cleaning 
the grates, in a quiet household ; and when the old 
cock in the forecastle crowed, I felt grateful to that 
game old bird. He must have been a perfect Nelson 
of a cock to have done it. He is going on a mission 
to improve the breed of American poultry. My 

B 2 


fellow-traveller F is a splendid sailor, never has 

a qualm, likes it rough, and has a revolting appetite 

all the time. 

Our talk is monotonous, chiefly of tumbles ; but 
we have some pleasant people on board. The 
A g to whom Mr. F introduced us at start- 
ing, whom we hope to see again about Christmas 

time at Baltimore ; and P also of Baltimore, 

who is for the present my model young American ; 
who boasts that he has never cost 'the old man' 
a cent since he was eighteen years of age, and at 
twenty-one was the head of a Firm, selling potted- 
meats to the War Department at a profit of twenty 
per cent. He has now arrived at twenty-four years 
of age ; has married a wife, and has gotten a baby ; 
and is at present returning from a visit to Paris. 

About a quarter of our fellow-passengers are the 

Travellers for American houses in the dry goods 

and similar lines of business, who come to Europe 

twice a-year to purchase for the spring and fall 

sales. These men all know one another, they mess 

together in cliques and sets, and have salads and 

condiments in common, jokes known only to the 

initiated, and all the other virtues and vices common 

to large family parties. They are great at stories 

and songs in the Fiddler (as the uncomfortable 

smoking-room is called). Also, to a man, burning 

patriots and Northerners ; and the vigour with 

Voyage out. 5 

which we chant ' John Brown s Body ' and ' The 
Star-spangled Banner ' increases each night as we 
draw nearer to the States. We have some South- 
erners also, who do not join in the choruses. 

It seems to me worthy of note that these men, 
who cross the Atlantic twice a-year, and run their 
eyes over the European markets, are the men who 
will be the next generation of New York merchants ; 
now America has few manufactures for us to buy, 
and therefore there is no corresponding class of 
English agents visiting the States ; so that as re- 
gards all knowledge respecting openings for trade 
and questions of supply and demand for American 
markets, the New York buyer is much better posted 
up than the Liverpool or Manchester seller. We talk 
a great deal about Yankee shrewdness hi trade ; but 
do we take the trouble to put ourselves on a par 
with them in information % We sit at home at ease, 
and wait until they come and buy of us. 

I think we shall not stop long at New York — some 
five or six days ; then to Philadelphia ; and thence 
to Baltimore, to spend Christmas Day with the 

A s * and so on to Washington, where Congress 

will by that time have met, and be warming to their 
work. I hope to go South before very long, so as to 
be in the warmer climate at the coldest season ; 
to come back up the Mississippi, instead of going 
down it ; to get to Canada by way of St. Louis and 


Chicago by the time the worst of its Winter is 
overpast ; and so return again to New York. I must 
break off now for a meal. Imagine breakfast at half- 
past eight, lunch at twelve o'clock, dinner at four, 
tea at seven, and supper at nine. 

Dec. 13, '66, Thursday. 

Safe arrived last night, after spending twelve 
days of my life at sea. I say last night, as it took 
us so long to land and get through the custom-house, 
that it was dark before we reached the Fifth Avenue 
Hotel. But it was bright daylight and sunshine as 
we steamed up the splendid harbour of New York ; 
a view which I should have been very sorry to have 
missed. As far as our personal experiences go, the 
custom-house officers of New York are not half so 
troublesome as they are said to be. We had nothing 
to smuggle, but there was a vast amount of smug- 
gling done by some of our fellow-passengers. One 
man landed with his pockets full of French watches, 
and another with a splendid Cashmere shawl round 
his neck. The custom-house officer, searching the 
next luggage to mine, unearthed two boxes of 
cigars ; of course these were contraband. He spake 
as follows, ' Which are the best % ' Opens box. 
' Have you a light 1 — I forgot ; we must not smoke 
here. Well, I will take a few to smoke after my 
supper.' Takes twenty cigars, and passes the rest. 

Broadway. 7 

Dec. 14, '66, Friday. 

I have been on my feet all day, delivering letters 
of introduction. These are plants that require to 
be put in early, or they are apt to flower after the 
sower has quitted the country. I went to-day into 
Messrs. Appleton's store. The stores of the Broad- 
way are the most wonderful glorified shops ever 
seen. Something between a Manchester warehouse 
and a London clubhouse. Everybody is talking so 
much of the rush there will be to the Exhibition in 
Paris, that we have actually been this day to the 
Cunard Office, and secured passages back to England, 
to sail from New York on March 20th ; some ten 
days after which, au revoir. 

I have spent all my day in going to and fro in 
Broadway, the wonderful street of New York ; in 
ten years' time the finest street in the world. At 
present, there are still so many small old houses 
standing in line with the enormous stores, that the 
effect is somewhat spoilt, by reason of the ranks not 
being well dressed. Broadway is now much in the 
condition of a child's mouth when cutting its second 
set of teeth ; slightly gappy. The enormous stores 
look even larger now than they will do when the 
intervals are filled up. The external splendour of 
the shops is chiefly architectural ; they make no 
great display of goods in the windows ; but the large 


size of the rooms within enables them to set out and 
exhibit many times the amount of goods that an 
English shopkeeper shows. 

The city of New York is on the southern point of 
Manhattan island, having the East River running 
along one side, and the North Eiver or Hudson along 
the other. Some day far in the future, when the 
present municipality is purged or swept away, and 
the splendour of the Thames Embankment scheme 
has been realised, New York will probably have two 
lines of quays, planted with trees and edged with 
warehouses, which will make it one of the finest 
cities in the world. The business quarter is at the 
point of the peninsula. The fashionable quarter is 
to the North, reaching every year farther inland. 
As the city increases, the stores keep moving North- 
wards, taking possession of the houses, and driving 
the residents farther back. The land is not yet built 
over up to Central Park, said to be so called because 
it will be the future centre of the city that is to be. 

The concentrated crowd, that passes along Broad- 
way in the morning ' down Town' to its business, 
and back in the evening ' up Town' to its homes, 
is enormous ; but the pavements are bad for men and 
abominable for horses ; to-day I saw five horses 
down and two lying dead. At the same time, 
allowance must be made for the fact that it has 
been snowing and thawing and freezing again ; but 

Street Cars. 9 

as this is no uncommon state of things in this 
climate, why pave the streets with flat stones which 
give no foothold 1 The ' Street Cars ' are the uni- 
versal means of conveyance. These are Omnibuses 
running on tramways, but the name of Omnibus is 
unknown ; if you speak of a ' Bus ' you are stared 
at. A young New Yorker, recently returned from 
London, was escorting his cousin home one evening ; 
as the way was long, he stopped and said, ' Hold on, 
Mary, and let's take a Bus.' ' No, George, not here 
in the street,' the coy damsel replied. 

New York is not a difficult city to find your way 
about in. Along every Avenue runs a line of Street 
Cars on an iron tramway. The cars take you for 
ten cents currency, about fourpence English, from 
one end of the city to the other. The Avenues are 
the streets which run the length of the city from 
North to South, parallel to Broadway ; and are called 
First, Second, Third Avenue, numbering from the 
East. The streets run at right angles to the 
Avenues ; and are called on the one side of Broad- 
way First, Second, and Third East Street, and on 
the other side of Broadway First, Second, and Third 
West Street. The whole city is shaped somewhat 
like a kite, with Broadway for the wooden rib in the 
middle. The method and arrangement is admirable, 
but the rate at which you move on wheels would 
excite the contempt of a London cabby. There are 


two Hansome cabs in New York, but they do not 
take ; horses are falling down too much just now. 

On the opposite side of the Hudson is Jersey 
City ; and on the opposite side of the East Eiver is 
Brooklyn ; each a large city in itself. Communica- 
tion is kept with these by large covered ferry-boats 
running perpetually, carrying at each trip a hundred 
or more passengers at about three cents a-head, and 
a score or more of carriages and carts. 

At this point (writing in bed) I upset my ink- 
stand, rang the bell violently, and requested the 
waiter who answered it, to take away the sheet, and 
take measures for getting the ink out while wet. 
He replied with great sang-froid, ' That's of no con- 
sequence here, we wash it in milk, and it all comes 
out/ Is that a fact in the old country, or a fiction in 
the new 1 

This Fifth Avenue Hotel is a splendid building, 
at the junction of Twenty-third Street and Fifth 
Avenue, all faced with white marble. They tell you 
that they have a hundred suites of apartments, and 
can accommodate a thousand guests. They board 
and lodge you at five dollars currency a-day, equal 
to 1 6s. 6cl. English. The board does not include 
wines, spirits, or baths. The lodging does not 
include one of the hundred suites of apartments, 
but is limited to a small bedroom tolerably high up. 
You need not weary yourself with climbing ; the 

Currency. 1 1 

lift, like the street cars, is always on the move, 
always going up except when it is coming down, 
which is the time when you want to go up. There 
are some few traps for extras, but easily avoidable. 

What do you think of the enclosed Bill of fare, 
everything cooked in first-rate style, and no limit as 
to quantity. You may have everything marked on 
the bill for breakfast on the table at once if you like. 
I have not seen any one attempt to swallow the bill 
and the whole bill yet ; but it is not at all an 
uncommon thing to see a man order half-a-dozen 
meat-dishes for breakfast. A gentleman told me 
yesterday, that there has lately been a successful 
strike among the bricklayers and plasterers ; and 
that the contractor who is finishing a house for him 
is paying them six dollars currency (equal to 
19s. 74rd.) a-day. Of course this is an instance of 
a very successful strike ; but the result is that Pat 
the bricklayer might be living at the Fifth Avenue 
Hotel, and have a dollar a-day to spend upon beer, 
tobacco, and tailors' bills. 

The currency is in a great state of complication 
here ; silver and gold, I am told, we shall never see 
again until we return to England. Gold being 
yesterday at 1374, the pound sterling was worth 
six dollars and ten cents of ' currency' or American 
paper-money, which is the current coin of the 
commonwealth in which hotel bills and wages are 


paid. The condition of the small paper-money is 
indescribable ; imagine bank-notes having to stand 
the wear and tear of a copper currency. Ancient 

curl-papers are nothing to them. F received a 

Five-cent bill yesterday in change, fresh, I fancy, from 
the recesses of a negro's pocket ; the (s)cent was 
quite plain about it. He held it at arm's length, 
sniffed at it, and presented it gravely to a beggar ; 
and proposes to tell his friends at home that you 
never in New York give a beggar less than a bank- 
note. It is the filthiest lucre invented yet. 

We went to-day to the top of Trinity Church 
tower ; a beautiful panorama, with the bay of New 
York to the south, the city stretching away north- 
ward, and a great river on either side. But it was 
bitterly cold at the top, as we had heavy snow 
yesterday, and the wind was blowing keenly. We 
went also to the Gold Exchange, and gold happened 
to be ' very sensitive ' this morning and would go 
up, in consequence of some rumours from Mexico, 
which made it possible that the time for United 
States interference was nearer than had been sup- 
posed. The noise was deafening ; neither the Stock 
Exchange nor the Eing at Epsom at all approach it. 
All the men engaged in a business which one would 
suppose required more experience than any other, 
the buying and selling of gold, seemed to be under 
twenty-five years of age • most of them much 

Gold Exchange. 13 

younger, some quite boys. The reason given me 
was that older heads could not stand the tumult. 
All gesticulating, all vociferating, every man with 
a note-book and pencil, crowded round a ring in the 
centre of the Hall like a little cock-pit to which you 
descend by steps ; every now and then a man 
struggles out from the crush, and rushes to the tele- 
graph office in the corner of the Hall ; every now 
and then a man rushes out of the telegraph corner 
with some news, which oozes out and makes the 
crowd howl and seethe again. The hands of a big 
dial on the wall are moved on from time to time, 
marking the hour of the day and the price of gold. 
This is the dial of the barometer of national pros- 
perity, marked by gold instead of mercury. 

As the magazines say, 'To be continued in our next.' 

Dec. 19, '66, Wednesday. 

The ice bears well. Walked up to Central Park 
to see the skating. Last year there were forty days' 
continuous skating here ; so you may suppose they 
bring it to some perfection. Several ladies were 
skating beautifully ; one doing the outside edge 
backward in a style not often seen. Athletic sports 
generally are making progress here ; and skating is 
highly fashionable. It is said to have made its way 
South from Canada ; but New York has not yet 
started the splendid Canadian ' Kinks/ which answer 


the purpose of ball-rooms for skaters. They have 
deep snow now in Canada ; but it is not deep enough 
here yet to bring the sleighs out in any quantity. 

A huge sum of money has been laid out on Central 
Park, the Bois de Boulogne of New York. When 
the timber has grown larger, it will be very pretty. 
The ground is rocky, with little depth of soil upon 
it ; this makes it difficult to get the trees to grow ; 
but on the other hand gives the place a feature not 
to be found in our Parks or at the Bois, in the large 
masses of brown sandstone cropping up through the 
turf here and there, and in the rocky shores of the 
little lakes. 

In the evening we went, by invitation of our 
courteous Banker, to the Assembly at Delmonico's 
rooms. In this we consider ourselves highly hon- 
oured and introduced to the best society of New 
York. The toilets and the diamonds were resplen- 
dent, and one figure of the ' German ' (cotillon), in 
which the ladies formed two groups in the centre, 
facing inwards with their bright trains spread out. 
behind them, was a splendid piece of colour and 
costume. Prince Doria was there, and most of the 
magnates of the city looked in. Some of the 
wealthiest people in the room were pointed out to 
me as the present representatives of the families 
of the old Dutch settlers ; these are the pedigrees 
respected here. 

Philadelphia. 15 

Dec. 20, '66, Thursday. 

We left New York, having stayed exactly a week, 
and meaning to return again. By rail to Phila- 
delphia, ninety-two miles, through a flat snow- 
covered country, which, under the circumstances, 
looked as dismal as might be. The latter part of 
our journey lay along the left bank of the Delaware, 
which we crossed by a long wooden bridge, and 
arrived at the Continental Hotel just at dusk. It is 
evident we are moving South. The waiters at this 
hotel are all Darkies. 

Dec. 21, '66, Friday. 

Philadelphia is a most difficult town just now for 
pedestrians, the doorsteps being all of white marble 
glazed with ice ; and sliding on the pavement may 
be had in perfection. Spent the best part of the day 
in slipping about, trying to deliver letters of intro- 
duction. The system of naming the streets of 
Philadelphia and of numbering the houses is ex- 
tremely ingenious, and answers perfectly when you 
have made yourself acquainted with it ; but as it 
takes an ordinary mind a week to find it out, the 
stranger who stops four or five days is apt to 
execrate it. All the streets run at right angles to 
one another, so that a short cut, the joy of the 
accomplished Londoner, is impossible. It is a chess- 
board upon which the Bishops move is unknown; 


Nothing diagonal can be done. The city is ruled 
like a page of a ledger, from top to bottom with 
streets, from side to side with avenues. It is all 
divided into squares. When you are first told this, 
a vision arises of the possibility of cutting across 
these squares from corner to corner. Not a bit of 
it — a square at Philadelphia means a solid block of 
houses, not an open space enclosed by buildings. 
When you have wandered about for some time, the 
idea suggests itself that every house is exactly like 
the house next to it ; although the inhabitants have 
given up the old uniformity of costume, the houses 
have not ; and without this elaborate system of 
numbering, the inhabitants of Philadelphia would 
never be able to find their way home. Nevertheless, 
if that is the finest town in which its inhabitants 
are best lodged, Philadelphia is the finest town in 
the world. It lodges a much smaller population than 
that of New York in more houses. In no other large 
town are rents comparatively so cheap. Every decent 
working-man can afford to have his separate house, 
with gas and water laid on, and fitted witlr a bath. 

We have been making a study of the Negro 
waiters. Perhaps the cold weather affects them ; 
but the first thing about them that strikes you 
is the apathetic infantine feeble -mindedness of 
the ' coloured persons ' lately called niggers. I say 
nothing of the seven coloured persons, of various 

Coloured Persons. 17 

shades, who always sit in a row on a bench in the 
hall, each with a little clothes-brush in his hand, and 
never attempt to do anything ; I allude to those who 
minister to my wants in the coffee-room with utterly 
unknown dishes. I breakfasted yesterday off Dunfish 
and cream, Indian pudding, and dipped toast ; for 
dinner I had a baked Blackfish with Soho sauce, 
and stewed venison with port wine ; for vegetables 
marrow, squash, and stewed tomatoes ; and for 
pudding 'floating island!' You see there is some 
excitement about dinner. After you have ordered 
four courses of the unknown, and your coloured 
person has gone in the direction of the kitchen, you 
sit with the mouth of expectation wide open. Some- 
times you get grossly deceived. Yesterday F 

ordered ' Jole,' and was sitting in a state of placid 
doubt, when his coloured person returned with a 
plate of pickled pork. At present I am quite of the 
opinion of the wise man who discovered that col- 
oured persons are born and grow in exactly the same 
way as uncoloured persons up to the age of thir- 
teen ; and that they then cease to develop their 
skulls and their intelligence. All the waiters in this 
hotel appear to be just about the age of thirteen. 
There are two who in wisdom are nearly twelve ; 
and one grey-headed old fellow who is just over 


Dee. 22, '66, Saturday. 
This land is renowned for its prison systems. 
To-day we went over the Eastern Penitentiary of 
Pennsylvania, once before described by Charles 
Dickens in his American Notes. The system has been 
a good deal altered since that time. They have found 
out, as we did in England, that the solitary system, as 
first introduced in all its severity, required a great 
deal of modification. When first patented, Hhe 
machine which professed to turn out honest men 
only produced lunatics. Here, as with us, they have 
'mitigated both the solitude and the silence, and 
have giyen the prisoner employment and exercise for 
'"mind and body, instead of leaving him to brood over 
his sins and misfortunes in helpless idleness. 

The problem of prison discipline is as important 
here as with us. The Penitentiary to-day contains 
five hundred and seventy- one prisoners, the largest 
number they have ever had within the walls ; all of 
them men, except about twenty women. They only 
keep here a sufficient number of women to do the 
necessary washing and mending for the male pri- 
soners. The longest sentence is that of a man 
sentenced to twenty- six years and a half imprison- 
ment, sentence upon sentence, for an accumulation 
of crimes. The next longest term is that of a 
woman imprisoned for eighteen years. 

Eastern Penitentiary. 19 

The prison, built in galleries, mostly of two stories, 
radiating from a centre, covers ten acres. Each man 
is in a separate cell, and no male prisoner can 
speak to another; but each has an opportunity of 
conversing with the attendants once at least in the 
day. The women are sometimes put together, .two 
in one cell. Eeformatory schools, by which in 
England children are removed from gaols, seem not 
yet to have been established here. Each prisoner is 
made to practise some trade or other. If he does 
not know a trade, he is taught one. The trades 
taught are those of the shoemaker, tailor, chair- 
maker, cigar-maker, weaver, weaver's winder, car- 
penter, and blacksmith. There is a teacher of each 
trade in attendance. The goods produced are sold 
at auction in the town. Each man is bound to finish 
a certain daily task ; and if he does more, he is 
entitled to so much money, which he may spend in 
tobacco or other small luxuries. His purchases are 
supplied to him at wholesale prices from the prison 
stores. No one may begin work before five a.m., 
or continue it after nine p.m. ; between those times 
they may regulate their hours of labour as they 
please. There are no restrictions as to silence : the 
prisoners may sing or whistle at their work, so long- 
as they do not make so much noise as to molest their 
neighbours. I heard no one singing and no one 
whistling. If they are musical, they can have in- 

C 2 


struments : the gaol is supplied with flutes, violins, 
and banjos. Fancy performing on a banjo in a soli- 
tary cell ! They have a large lending library, which 
has been read at until the books are black and 
ragged. Their diet is ample ; and if they have not 
enough of anything, they can call for more ; and if 
the request is at all reasonable, get it. Jn the 
morning each man has a large loaf of good bread 
made of wheat and Indian corn mixed, and coffee 
sweetened with molasses ; each has a quart of mo- 
lasses served out to him on the first of the month. 
For dinner, soup with vegetables in it, and beef. 
For tea, cocoa and the remainder of his bread. 
Apples^and other small luxuries are allowed to be 
brought in by the friends of the prisoner by per- 
mission of the warden. 

For exercise, the women are allowed to take the 
air upon a balcony which commands a view of all the 
prison, and from which they can see beyond the 
walls. The men take a turn every morning, for 
forty minutes in winter and for fifty in summer, in 
the little yard at the back of each cell. These little 
yards have been planted by the prisoners with 
flowers and fruit-trees ; one has a grape-vine, and 
another a peach-tree. The present occupants this 
autumn will eat the fruit of trees planted by departed 
convicts, and are planting for the benefit of the next 
generation. Some of them have a continuing interest 

Solitary System. 21 

in the place. They showed us a cell in which a 
weaver had arabesqued the walls with considerable 
taste in very humble imitation of Raphael's Loggia. 
He had obtained his colours by extracting the dyes 
from the yarns given him to work with. The deco- 
ration of the cell was only half completed when he 
came out at the expiration of his sentence ; but 
fortunately before long he committed another offence, 
was caught and convicted, and confined in the same 
cell, and of course completed his design. The war- 
der said mournfully ' It was beautiful, but the 
colours are fading now/ The artist can hardly be 
expected to come in again to restore its freshness. 
Some half-dozen favoured prisoners work in the 
garden of the gaol, and raise vegetables for the rest. 
These are not hood-winked, and may see and con- 
verse with one another. But if a stranger be in the 
garden, or in the corridor through which they are 
passing, then their faces are covered that they may 
not be recognised. Ameliorate it how you please, 
this solitary system still remains a fearful ordeal for 
any human being. Is there any residuum in life 
worth having when you have taken away the inter- 
change of love and the reciprocity of duties % Two 
of these convicts had just been detected whispering 
to one another through the pipe which led from the 
sink in one cell to the sink in the next. The desire 
for society must have been intense, to drive them to 


discover such a medium for the exchange of sighs 
and sympathies. 

From the Penitentiary we went to the Grirard 
College. M. Girard was a Frenchman by birth, who 
made a large fortune by trade in Philadelphia, and 
disposed of it with the munificence of a Peabody. 
The college estates this year produced 152,000 
dollars, say £25,000. The college contains at pre- 
sent four hundred and seventy-five boys. The 
qualifications necessary for admission are, that you 
are poor, that your father is dead, and that you were 
born in Philadelphia. The college consists of five 
large blocks of building ; the central building con- 
tains a£h -the class-rooms and lecture-rooms ; the 
wings are the residences of the professors and the 
pupils. It is beautifully situated upon a rising 
ground, so that the great portico is conspicuous from 
afar. The centre building is of solid white marble, 
and looks like a reproduction of the Madeleine. 
The pillars of the portico are fifty-five feet in height 
from pavement to ceiling. The central building is 
said to have cost 2,000,000 dollars and the four side 
buildings 50,000 dollars each. 

In one of the corridors we fell in with a stray 
Professor, who very kindly not only showed us over 
the whole building, but took us through every 
lecture-room, and introduced us to all the other Pro- 
fessors both gentlemen and ladies ; whereby for the 

Girard College. 23 

time we were a woeful interruption to the studies of 
the four hundred and seventy-five orphans. I had 
the honour to be introduced to each of the Pro- 
fessors as being ' from Oxford/ and it was pleasant 
to see that the name of the old University seemed to 
touch a chord of respect and kindly feeling in the 
hearts of the Transatlantic teachers. We went to 
the chapel, where all the boys were assembled for 
Evening Prayer. The Head-master, an old officer, 
read the Parable of the Sower, all sitting ; and then 
the Lord's Prayer, all kneeling except the Professors, 
who stood up. The last Head-master was an Epi- 
scopalian, and used the Prayer-book ; the present is 
a Baptist, and has cut the service shorter, probably 
to the advantage of the small boys. 

In the vestibule of the great white temple is a 
marble statue of M. Girard the founder, a little old 
man with a kindly face. I picture him as wearing 
nankeens and gaiters, and a frill to his shirt in spite 
of the Quakers ; and taking an occasional pinch of 
snuff. Much bullied as an office-boy in early youth, 
he contracts a habit of sympathy for the unprotected, 
knows nothing of his relations in France, and leaves 
all his fortune to the orphans of his adopted town. 
May not something be said in favour of bullying the 
present rising generation, in order that they may be 
kind to the next? 

Even in this city of Pemi, the distinctive marks of 


Quakerism are dying out. The Quaker dress does 
not seem much more common in Philadelphia than in 
any other city, nor do they use the ' thee ' and ' thou' 
in the streets ; but at their own fire-sides, where the 
old people sit, they still speak the old language. 
A Quaker in the streets is not to be distinguished 
from other Philadelphians. I was talking to Mr. 

C about this, and he said ' Let me introduce 

you to a Quaker ; I am a member of the Church 

myself/ L was not quite clear whether he was 

a Quaker or not. His parents had been ; his sons 
certainly were not. Some of the best of the Southern 
soldiers came from the City of the Quakers. There 
is a stosy of a Quaker girl, who was exchanging 
rings with her lover as he set off to join the army ; 
when they parted she said, * Thee must not wear it 
on thy trigger-finger, George/ 

Dined with Mr. L the publisher. He showed 

us over his enormous store, which seemed to be a 
model of discipline and organisation ; and described 
the book-market of America as being, like the Union, 
one and indivisible ; and opened his ledger in which 
were the names of customers in every State in the 
Union. He told us that he had about five thousand 
open accounts with different American booksellers. 
His policy is to keep in stock everything that a 
country bookseller requires, from a Bible to a stick 
of sealing-wax, so that when their stores get low, 

Sunday. 25 

they are able to write to him for everything they 
want. He contends, as other Philadelphians do, that 
New York is not the capital of America, but only its 
chief port of import, and that Philadelphia is the 
chief centre for distribution. Mr. Hepworth Dixon 
had been here not long before ; and, as was right and 
fitting in the City of Quakers, a high banquet had 
been held in honour of the vindicator of William 

Dec. 23, '66, Sunday. 

A fearfully Sabbatical day. Nothing can be con- 
ceived more dreary than the aspect of the big bar- 
room of the Continental Hotel. The bar being 
closed and the supply of liquors cut off, the wretched 
travellers who had no family- circles to join had 
drawn their chairs round the four iron pillars ; 
against which they propped their legs, and smoked 
in dismal silence alleviated by yesterday's news- 
papers. Our condition was better, for we dined 

with Mr. F , a far-travelled well-read agreeable 

host, withal a fiery Northerner, to whom England 
will have to humble herself in that unfortunate 
Alabama business. He is hot also on educational 
matters, and kindly promises to get Mr. Shippen, the 
President of the Board of Controllers of Public 
Schools, to meet us on our return here. 


Dec. 24, '66, Monday. 

By rail to Baltimore, ninety- eight miles. A flat 
dreary country ; the land dismally doing penance in 
a white sheet of snow, and the waters covered with 
ice ; possibly a pleasant country enough in summer, 
when the banks of its great rivers are green. As far 
as Wilmington, some thirty miles, we skirted the right 
bank of the estuary of the Delaware. Ten miles 
further, and we passed into Maryland, crossed the 
Susquehanna, and kept along the right bank of 
the Chesapeake Bay until we approached Baltimore. 
Outside the town we passed some large redoubts, 
thrown up partly to protect the town and partly to 
overawe the citizens — the first sign of the civil war 
which we have seen. 

When an American train reaches a town it does 
not dream of pulling up short in a suburb, but 
advances slowly through the streets ; the driver on 
the engine rings a large bell, and a man on horse- 
back rides in front to clear the way. Thus we 
entered Baltimore, arrived at the terminus and un- 
coupled the engine ; and then, still sitting in the 
railway- car, were drawn by a team of horses along 
the street-rails to the terminus of the Baltimore and 
Ohio Railway on the other side of the town. The 
axles of the wheels of these huge railway- cars turn 
like the front- wheels of a carriage, so that they are 

Egg-nogging. 27 

able to go round moderately sharp corners in a most 
surprising manner, and are got through the streets 
with much less difficulty than ladies' trunks are 
carried through the passages of hotels. On our way 
we were drawn along Price's Street, where at 
the beginning of the war the Federal troops were 
fired upon as they were passing through the town 
in the cars. 

At the terminus of the Baltimore and Ohio Kail- 
way we found our friends the H s, and travelled 

in their company to Ellicott's Mills — a station some 
fifteen miles from the town. One Ellicott, whose 
family has already perished from the place, dammed 
up the Patapsco, a noisy brawling river, and built 
grain-mills there ; but the country round being hilly 
and cool, the place now thrives by the building of 
country-houses for the citizens of Baltimore, and has 
a pleasant little society. The Swedish ambassador 
has a house there, and doubtless finds it much more 
economical than living in Washington. 

Christmas festivities had begun ; every ten minutes 
or oftener a gun or a squib was fired off, giving one 
the idea that the war had not ended yet at Ellicott's 
Mills. Christmas is not properly observed unless 
you brew ' egg-nog ' for all comers ; everybody calls 
upon everybody else ; and each call is celebrated by 
a solemn egg-nogging. Egg-nog is made in this 
wise : our egg-nog was made so, and was decided 


after a good deal of nogging around, to be the brew 
in Ellicott's Mills : — ' Beat up the yolks of twelve 
eggs with powdered sugar, then beat up with them 
a pint of brandy, a quart of cream, and a quart of 
milk ; lastly beat up the whites of your twelve eggs, 
and add them as a head and crown to your syllabub.' 
It is made cold, and is drunk cold, and is to be com- 
mended. We had brought a store of sugar-plums, 
as the children all expect presents at this time. 
They hang up their stockings on Christmas Eve, and 
in the morning find them filled with goodies. At 
New York this is done by Criskindle (Christ kinde) 
and at Baltimore by Santa Claus (San Nicolas). 

We went to two country parties near Baltimore. 
I could see very little in which they differed from 
similar Christmas dances in Sussex or Cheshire. 
They run us hard both in the vigour of the dancing 
and in the excellence of the suppers. Life seems to 
have been very easy here before the war, but now 
the agricultural interest, by which I mean the well- 
to-do gentlemen farmers owning some five or six- 
hundred acres of cleared land, are poor compared 
with what they were. They cannot get labour, and 
a good deal of land about here is going out of culti- 
vation. I did not find that the land was changing 
hands much, but there was an Englishman in Balti- 
more while we were there who was gomg down that 
morning to see a farm ' two miles from Centreville, 

Duck Shooting. 29 

Maryland, situated in a beautiful rich country, with 
a large house, stables, and offices, barns and labourers' 
cottages, in good repair ; the ordinary crops being 
wheat, corn, tobacco, clover, and sorghum.' The farm 
consisted of four hundred and twenty-seven acres of 
land cleared and improved ; 20,000 dollars currency, 
say £3,300, were asked, and he expected that 15,000 
dollars, or £2,475, = £5 165. an acre, would be ac- 

We heard a good deal of the duck-shooting in the 
upper part of the Chesapeake Bay. The canvas-back 
and other ducks feed on the wild celery which grows 
in the shallow brackish waters. When the weather 
is hard and the bay frozen, as I regret to say it is 
now, the ducks are found to take to the open waters, 
where they are not to be got at, and if got, are 
rank with the fish on which they have been feeding. 
One mode of shooting them when the weather is 
propitious, is to dig a hole and raise a screen, behind 
which the sportsman sits as in a rifle-pit, armed with 
one or more huge duck-guns, and a bottle of whisky 
to keep him from taking cold. In front of his posi- 
tion along the shore are his decoy-ducks ; one or two 
being live ducks tied by the leg, who actually have 
the simplicity or treachery to quack aloud when wild 
ducks fly over them ; the others being dummy ducks 
the size of life, resembling the little ducks of infancy 
which are guided by a magnet in a basin of water. 


The sportsman is also provided with a call made 
from a large reed, on which he imitates the wild- 
duck's cry ; and if neither call-birds nor decoy-ducks 
will draw, he does a little quacking for himself. 

The other mode of * ducking ' is to take your 
stand in the grey of the morning or at dusk on one 
of the spits of land running out into the bay, and 
fire into the flights of wild-fowl as they cross over 
your head. Enormous bags are made sometimes. 
One of our friends had just received from a sporting 
neighbour a hamper containing twenty- four ducks of 
different kinds. 

Dec. 28, '66, Friday. 

I cannot describe to you how cold it is. We cer- 
tainly must go further south. Last night F and 

myself were both quartered in the same room, and 
piled logs of wood on the stove before turning in to 
bed ; yet this morning the water in the jug by my 
bedside was frozen three-quarters of an inch thick. 
Every one has heard of the Canadian winter, but I 
had no idea it was so cold in the States. In Penn- 
sylvania the snow commonly covers the ground for 
three months every year, in Massachusetts for four 
months, and in Maine for five. North of New York 
the ice is expected to carry a loaded wagon, and the 
sea sometimes freezes along the shore. On this 
side of the Continent the thermometer varies from 

Partridge Shooting. 31 

forty degrees in winter to eighty in summer, while 
on the Pacific coast the temperature is very equable. 
At San Francisco in California, which is very few 
degrees south of this, the average temperature of 
spring, summer, autumn, and winter does not vary 
five degrees. 

In spite of the cold, we were seized with a desire 
to go out shooting. Ducks were not to be got at ; 
so we decided that they were fishy, on the same 
principle as the fox held the grapes to be sour ; and 
went in pursuit of 'partridges/ The partridge of 
Maryland is a kind of large quail. The same bird 
is called a partridge in one part of the States and 
a quail in another ; the fact being that most Ameri- 
can birds are similar to European birds, but all 
differing from them. Settlers from England of 
course gave the birds English names ; but the at- 
tempts at identification have resulted in a conside- 
rable amount of confusion. I know I have read a 
story somewhere of a settler in the backwoods, to 
whom the confiding nature of the American robin 
was a great comfort ; the bird would perch upon his 
spade, as much as to say ' How are you, my English 
friend 1 and how did you leave all the little robins 
in England'?' But in fact, the American robin is a 
red-breasted thrush ; and the bird called a pheasant 
is a species of large grouse. 

There was a keen North-westerly wind blowing 


when we went in pursuit of little partridges, alias 
quails ; who very wisely had taken to the woods, where 
we had to walk them up without dogs : and if it was 
hard to find them when alive, it was still more 
difficult to find them when knocked down, as the 
wounded birds creep under the dead leaves. The 
bitter wind quite defeated us. Last night it blew 
almost a hurricane. I see by this evening's papers 
that the telegraph posts have been blown in all direc- 
tions, and the Cunard steamer Australian somehow 
ran ashore as she was coming into harbour at New 
York. Nevertheless we have news from England of 
the 26th, of the arrival of the three yachts. 

We spent one Sybaritic afternoon at the Union Club. 
The first part of the entertainment consisted of a seat 
in the club-window to watch the pretty girls of Balti- 
more, and they are many, turning out for their evening 
parade ■ the second act consisted in a small dinner, 
the great fact in which was Terrapin soup. There 
are Terrapins and Ferrapins ; the black-shelled, which 
inhabit salt water, and the yellow with black spots, 
who love the fresh. Select the latter for soup : 
take out the gall-bladder, and the sand-bag ; and all 
that remains of callipash and callipee between the 
two shells of the miniature turtle is dainty faring. 
In the words of my host, who spoke the figurative 
language of Young America, the terrapin is ' a nice 
bird.' One great art of the negro waiter is the 

The Merrimac. 33 

adjustment of your chair ; as you approach the table 
he withdraws it, as you sit down he places it under 
you : at Baltimore only the waiter has attained to 
such skill that the chair never requires a final adjust- 
ment. At Baltimore there is no 'last hitch' to your 
chair. They know how to live here, but it costs 
money. A very moderate house in the best parts 
of the city lets for 2000 dollars (£330) a-year. A 
carriage and one horse can be kept for 500 dollars 
(£85) a-year. To go to any place of amusement 
in an evening costs a dollar and a half (55.) But 
then credits are very short, shorter than what we 
call cash in England; and when trade is brisk a 
Baltimore merchaut will sometimes turn his capital 
over ten times in the course of the year. With the 
American system of short credits, double the business 
is done with half the capital required in England. 

You have heard a good deal of the recklessness of 
American trading ; now hear some of the precautions 
taken by the careful. The gentleman with whom I 

dined to-day, Mr. A , deals in say six articles, 

which are all imported into America. The importa- 
tion is carried on almost entirely from three ports, 
say Liverpool, Hamburgh, and Southampton. At 
each of these ports he has one of the clerks in the 
custom-house in his pay, giving him say £50 a-year. 
He receives a letter from each of these ports by 
every mai], apprising him what shipments have been 



made of the articles in which he is interested, by 
what ships, to what American ports, consigned to 
what houses. By this means he is posted up as to 
the exact state of the market, and is able to sell or 
hold, to raise his price or lower it. He knows the 
average consumption, he knows what stock there is 
in the country, and he knows what is about to arrive. 
While I was with him to-day he had the satisfaction 

of informing a friend, Mr. B , that certain goods 

were en route to him from England in a certain ship, 

my friend A having received his advices of the 

shipment from his custom-house clerk before B , 

the consignee, had received his invoices. 

All goods are insured against loss by sea, and the 
insurances cover not only the goods, but the largest 
profit likely to be made upon them. This is neces- 
sary inasmuch as the bill of lading will very likely 
have changed hands more than once before the ship 
arrives, the goods having been sold and re-sold while 
on their voyage. 

All the customers of the firm are rated on the 
books as a, a a, a a a, or acta a, according to the num- 
ber of dollars they are supposed to be worth ; and 
they are trusted accordingly. A man's embarrass- 
ments become quickly known in America, inasmuch 
as all bills of sale and mortgages are made by a 
public enrolment, open to everybody's inspection at 
the proper office, and are invalid unless enrolled. 

Southern Talk. 35 

In every city where the firm have a customer, they 
have also a legal adviser, who will apprise them of 
his first symptoms of weakness. Since this system 
was adopted many years ago, they have not had 
occasion to write off a single bad debt. 

We are beginning now to get among the South- 
erners, and I have had some interesting conversations 
with men who have seen a great deal of the war. 

I will bring my notes together. X had been 

present at the fitting out of the Merrimac. The 
old frigate had been burnt nearly to the water's edge ; 
but all that they wanted of her was left. They 
sawed her off all round just above the water-line ; 
and put on her a wooden roof like that of a house, 
the eaves coming down two feet below the water- 
line. This wooden roof they covered with iron-bars 
made from the rails on which the street-cars ran 
in the streets at Eichmond. Their rolling -machine 
would only manufacture plates one inch in thickness ; 
so the first coating of iron was only one inch thick. 
Then they improved the rolling-machine ; and manu- 
factured bars five inches wide and two inches thick ; 
and covered the ship with two additional layers of 
iron, the first horizontal, and the second running from 
eaves to ridge-pole. In all she carried eight hundred 
tons of iron ; and the whole ship weighed 2500 tons. 
They re-christened her the Virginia, but the old 
name stuck to her, and the Merrimac she remained. 

D 2 


She had only four guns on board, and was fitted 
with a temporary cast-iron prow; when her architect 
one day standing on the shore, to his astonishment 
saw that she had left her station and was steaming 
out down the river. Admiral Buchanan, tempted by 
the sight of the two wooden frigates in the roads, 
had ordered her out to fight. She left her cast-iron 
beak sticking in the side of the Cumberland, and was 
fitted with a new one of wrought-iron when she 
fought the Monitor. 

Afterwards they built another ram at Richmond, 
and called her also the Virginia. Her shield or 
roof was built at an angle of thirty degrees ; but no 
angle or strength can resist the blow of a thirteen- 
inch shot striking the shield from above almost at a 
right-angle. One of these huge shots struck the 
Virginia in this manner ; and the splinters from the 
wooden backing of the shield killed eighteen men. 
When the Navy Yard was abandoned and burnt, the 
Merrimac could not retire up the James Eiver more 
than five miles, for she drew twenty-four feet of 
water. She might have run through the fleet past 
Norfolk, and should have tried it ; but it was 
thought more advisable to sink her, and sunk she 
was. Her bows were blown right out. 

' The South made a great mistake in not sticking 
to the old flag : it is not to be told how many sailors 
were lost by this mistake. The South made another 

Southern Talk. 37 

terrible mistake in not sending all the cotton out of 
the country before the blockade was formed ; it 
would have put us in funds. When Lee surrendered, 
we had come to simple starvation. For six months 
before that, the soldiers had not had enough to eat. 
On the morning of the surrender, we knew something 
was going to happen, for General Lee had dressed 
himself, contrary to his custom, in full uniform. 
When the soldiers crowded round him, he told them 
there was no prospect left but starvation or sur- 
render. Many of the men shed tears. We had been 
drawing our last supplies from Georgia, and Sherman 
marched right through it. Towards the end of the 
war, the Northern cavalry did terrible service. They 
covered the country in advance of the line of march, 
and burnt the depots before our tired troops reached 
them. It was killing work at the end of a long day's 
march, when we expected food, to find the depot 
destroyed. Sometimes the soldiers scraped up from 
the ground the horse corn which the enemy's cavalry 
had dropped. Our troops were often short of ammu- 
nition ; and victories have been claimed by the 
North because our troops retired when they had not 
another shot to fire/ 

' Mr. Lincoln at his election had not the vote of a 
single Southern State. He was chosen to carry out 
the views of the North. The South said, If you do 
not mean to abide by the constitution, let us go out 


and live by ourselves. We mean to abide by it. 
But the North knew that they could not stand with- 
out us. How have they observed the constitution % 
" No State shall be coerced," says the constitution : 
have they not coerced us % " No State shall be 
divided : " have they not divided Virginia 1 Slavery 
is recognised by the constitution : have they not set 
the slaves against their masters % I wish we were 
all colonies of England again. My God ! when I 
contrast the government of Canada with that of the 
South ! It cannot last much more than eight years ; 
then there will be a split between the North and the 
West, and the South will have a casting-vote.' 

' A great extent of land formerly cultivated must 
go for ever out of cultivation now ; the low lands, 
upon which white men cannot work. The white 
overseers could never sleep on the rice plantations. 
They always had to ride off at night six or seven 
miles, up into the pine-thickets, to sleep/ 

' The negroes are just like children ; they do not 
know how to take care of themselves. Of the sixteen 
negroes who belonged to my family and descended to 
me, seven have died of starvation since they got their 
freedom. Negroes have no spirit ; if they feel the least 
illness, they give themselves up for dead ; a pain they 
call a misery. " Massa, I have such a misery in my 
back," or " a terrible misery in my leg." They are no 
more able to shift for themselves than so many babies. 

Southern Talk. 39 

The conduct of Mr. Davis is severely criticised, for 
carrying on the war after he knew that resistance was 
hopeless : he refused to make peace at a time when 
better terms of peace were offered by the North than 
could possibly have been got by carrying on the war. 
At Fortress Monro (where Mr. Davis is now confined), 
within three months of the time when General Lee 
surrendered and the South collapsed, Mr. Lincoln 
and Mr. Seward offered to the Southern Commis- 
sioners appointed to treat with them, the following 
terms of peace. The Union to be restored, an am- 
nesty and pardon to all who had borne arms, and the 
owners of slaves to receive 400,000,000 dollars, or 
£90,000,000 sterling, as the price of the freedom of 
the negroes. Whether it was thought that such an 
offer was an indication of weakness on the part of the 
North, — whether it was thought that reconciliation 
was not possible on any terms, — whether it was 
thought that war to the bitterest end was preferable 
to reconciliation, I know not : but these terms were 
refused, at a time when those who rejected them 
knew that victory was impossible ; and the bitter 
end was deliberately preferred. 

I had been curious to find whether in the heat 
of the war any good poetry had been written ; and 
went to-day into a bookseller's shop to enquire for 
battle-songs or ballads. I found that Miss Emily 
Mason had collected and arranged a volume called 


' Southern Poems of the War/ Those which follow 
seem to me to be some of the best in the book, and 
well worth quoting. The best of all is ' Maryland, 
my Maryland,' by James E. Eandall, a poem often 
quoted in fragments, but of which I have never seen 
the whole before. 


The despot's heel is on thy shore, 

Maryland ! 
His torch is at thy temple door, 

Maryland ! 
Avenge the patriotic gore 
That necked the streets of Baltimore, 
And be the battle-queen of yore, 

Maryland ! My Maryland ! 

Hark to thy wand'ring son's appeal, 

Maryland ! 
My mother State ! to thee I kneel, 

Maryland ! 
For life and death, for woe and weal, 
Thy peerless chivalry reveal, 
And gird thy beauteous limbs with steel, 

Maryland ! My Maryland ! 

Thou wilt not cower in the dust, 

Maryland ! 
Thy beaming sword shall never rust, 

Maryland ! 
Remember Carroll's sacred trust ; 
Remember Howard's warlike thrust, 
And all thy slumberers with the just, 

Maryland ! My Maryland ! 

Southern Poems of the War. 41 

Come, 'tis the red dawn of the day, 

Maryland ! 
Come, with thy panoplied array, 

Maryland ! 
With Ringgold's spirit for the fray, 
With Watson's blood at Monterey, 
With fearless Lowe, and dashing May, 

Maryland ! My Maryland ! 

Dear mother, burst the tyrant's chain, 

Maryland ! 
Virginia should not call in vain, 

Maryland ! 
She meets her sisters on the plain, 
1 Sic Semper'' — 'tis the proud refrain, 
That baffles minions back amain, 

Maryland ! My Maryland ! 

Come, for thy shield is bright and strong, 

Maryland ! 
Come, for thy dalliance does thee wrong, 

Maryland ! 
Come, to thine own heroic throng, 
That stalks with Liberty along, 
And ring thy dauntless slogan song, 

Maryland ! My Maryland ! 

I see the blush upon thy cheek, 

Maryland ! 
For thou wast ever bravely meek, 

Maryland ! 
But lo ! there surges forth a shriek 
From hill to hill, from creek to creek - 
Potomac calls to Chesapeake, 

Maryland ! My Maryland ! 


Thou wilt not yield the Vandal toll, 

Maryland ! 
Thou wilt not crook to his control, 

Maryland ! 
Better the fire upon thee roll, 
Better the shot— the blade— the bowl— 
Than crucifixion of the soul, 

Maryland ! My Maryland ! 

I hear the distant thunder hum, 

Maryland ! 
The Old Line bugle, fife and drum, 

Maryland ! 
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb; 
Huzza ! she spurns the Northern scum ! 
She breathes— she burns ! she'll come ! she'll come ! 

Maryland ! My Maryland ! 

The following poetic version of an incident in 
one of the Wilderness fights, by E. Thompson, 
formerly editor of the ' Southern Literary Messenger,' 
appeared first in a New Orleans magazine, 'The 
Crescent Monthly.' 


Dawn of a pleasant morning in May 
Broke through the Wilderness cool and gray, 
While perched in the tallest tree-tops, the birds 
Were carolling Mendelssohn's ' Songs without words.' 

Far from the haunts of men remote, 
The brook brawled on with a liquid note, 
And nature, all tranquil and lovely, wore 
The smile of the Spring, as in Eden of yore. 

Southern Poems of the War. 43 

Little by little as daylight increased, 

And deepened the roseate flush in the East — 

Little by little, did morning reveal 

Two long glittering lines of steel ; 

Where two hundred thousand bayonets gleam, 
Tipped with the light of the earliest beam, 
And the faces are sullen and grim to see, 
In the hostile armies of Grant and Lee. 

All of a sudden ere rose the sun, 
Pealed on the silence the opening gun — 
A little white puff of smoke there came, 
And anon the valley was wreathed in flame. 

Down on the left of the rebel lines, 

Where a breastwork stands in a copse of pines, 

Before the rebels their ranks can form, 

The Yankees have carried the place by storm. 

Stars and Stripes o'er the salient wave, 

Where many a hero has found a grave, 

And the gallant Confederates strive in vain 

The ground they have drenched with their blood to regain ! 


Yet louder the thunder of battle roared— 
Yet a deadlier fire on their columns poured — 
Slaughter infernal rode with despair, 
Furies twain through the smoky air. 

Not far off in the saddle there sat, 
A grey-bearded man in a black slouched hat ; 
Not much moved by the fire was he, 
Calm and resolute Robert Lee. 

Quick and watchful, he kept his eye 
On two bold rebel brigades close by — 
Reserves, that were standing (and dying) at ease, 
While the tempest of wrath toppled over the trees. 


For still with their loud, deep, bull-dog bay, 
The Yankee batteries blazed away, 
And with every murderous second that sped 
A dozen brave fellows, alas ! fell dead. 

The grand old grey-beard rode to the space, 
Where death and his victims stood face to face, 
And silently waved his old slouched hat — 
A world of meaning there was in that ! 

'Follow me! Steady! We'll save the day!' 
This was what he seemed to say; 
And to the light of his glorious eye 
The bold brigades thus made reply — 

' We '11 go forward, but you must go back ' — 
And they moved not an inch in the perilous track 
' Go to the rear, and we'll send them to hell ! ' 
And the sound of the battle was lost in their yell. 

Turning his bridle, Robert Lee 
Rode to the rear. Like the waves of the sea, 
Bursting their dykes in their overflow, 
Madly his veterans dashed on the foe. 

And backward in terror that foe was driven, 
Their banners rent and their columns riven, 
Wherever the tide of battle rolled 
Over the Wilderness, wood and wold. 

Sunset out of a crimson sky, 

Streamed o'er a field of ruddier dye, 

And the brook ran on with a purple stain, 

From the blood of ten thousand foemen slain. 

Seasons have passed since that day and year — 
Again o'er its pebbles the brook runs clear, 
And the field in a richer green is drcst 
Where the dead of the terrible conflict rest. 

Southern Poems of the War. 45 

Hushed is the roll of the rebel drum, 

The sabres are sheathed, and the cannon are dumb, 

And Fate, with pitiless hand, has furled 

The flag that once challenged the gaze of the world ; 

But the fame of the Wilderness fight abides ; 

And down into history grandly rides, 

Calm and unmoved as in battle he sat, 

The grey- bearded Man in the black slouch hat. 


(By George H. Miles, Frederic County, Maryland.) 

Up on the hill there, 

Who are they, pray, 
Three dusty troopers 

Spurring this way 1 
And that squadron behind them ? 

Stand not aghast — 
Why, these are the rebels, sir, 

Coming at last ! 

Coming so carelessly, 

Sauntering on, 
Into the midst of us, 

Into our town ; 
Thrice thirty miles to-day 

These men have passed, 
Stuart at the head of them 

Coming at last ! 

Oh, sir ! no gold lace 

Burns in the sun, 
But each blooded war-horse 

And rider seem one. 
These men could ride at need, 

Outride the blast — 
O yes, sir, the rebels 

Are coming at last ! 


Circling Mac's army, 

Three days at work ! 
Under that smile of theirs 

Famine may lurk. 
Out with the best you have, 

Fill the bowl fast, 
For Jeff's ragged rebels 

Are coming at last ! 


(Said to be by Lamar Fontaine, 2nd Virginia Cavalry.) 

' All quiet along the Potomac to-night,' 

Except now and then a stray picket 
Is shot, as he walks on his beat to and fro, 

By a rifleman hid in the thicket. 
'Tis nothing — a private or two now and then, 

Will not count in the news of the battle ; 
Not an officer lost — only one of the men — 

Moaning out, all alone, the death rattle. 

' All quiet along the Potomac to-night,' 

"Where the soldiers lie peacefully dreaming, 
Their tents in the rays of the clear autumn moon, 

Or the light of the watch-fires are gleaming. 
A tremulous sigh as the gentle night-wind 

Through the forest leaves slowly is creeping, 
While the stars up above, with their glittering eyes, 

Keep guard — for the army is sleeping. 

There is only the sound of the lone sentry's tread, 

As he tramps from the rock to the fountain, 
And thinks of the two on the low trundle-bed, 

Far away in the cot on the mountain. 
His musket falls slack — his face, dark and grim, 

Grows gentle with memories tender, 
As he mutters a prayer for his children asleep — 

For their mother, may Heaven defend her ! 

Southern Poems of the War. 47 

The moon seems to shine as brightly as then, 

That night, when the love yet unspoken 
Leaped up to his lips, and when low murmured vows, 

Were pledged to be ever unbroken. 
Then drawing his sleeve roughly over his eyes, 

He dashes off tears that are welling, 
And gathers his gun close up to its place, 

As if to keep down the heart-swelling. 

He passes the fountain, the blasted pine-tree, 

The footstep is lagging and weary, 
Yet onward he goes, through the broad belt of light, 

Toward the shades of the forest so dreary. 
Hark ! was it the night-wind that rustled the leaves 1 

Was it moonlight so wondrously flashing ? 
It looked like a rifle — ha ! Mary, good bye ! 

And the life-blood is ebbing and splashing ! 

'All quiet along the Potomac to-night,' 

No sound save the rush of the river ; 
While soft falls the dew on the face of the dead — 

The picket's off' duty for ever ! 


In the cool sweet hush of a wooded nook, 

Where the May-buds sprinkle the green old sward, 
And the winds, and the birds, and the limpid brook, 

Murmur their dreams with a drowsy sound ; 
Who lies so still in the plushy moss, 

With his pale cheek pressed on a breezy pillow, 
Couched where the light and the shadows cross 

Through the flickering fringe of the willow, 
Who lies, alas ! 
So still, so chill, in the whispering grass ? 


A soldier clad in the Zouave dress, 

A bright-haired man, with his lips apart, 
One hand thrown up o'er his frank, dead face, 

And the other clutching his pulseless heart, 
Lies here in the shadows cool and dim, 

His musket swept by a trailing bough ; 
With a careless grace in his quiet limbs, 

And a wound on his manly brow ; 
A wound, alas ! 
Whence the warm blood drips on the quiet grass. 

The violets peer from their dusky beds, 

With a tearful dew in their great pure eyes, 
The lilies quiver their shining heads, 

Their pale lips full of sad surprise ; 
And the lizard darts through the glistening fern- 

And the squirrel rustles the branches hoary; 
Strange birds fly out with a cry, to bathe 

Their wings in the sunset glory, 

While the shadows pass 
O'er the quiet face and the dewy grass. 

God pity the bride who awaits at home 

With her lily cheeks, and her violet eyes, 
Dreaming the sweet old dream of love, 

While her lover is walking in Paradise ; 
God strengthen her heart as the days go by, 

And the long, drear nights of her vigil follow, 
Nor bird, nor moon, nor whispering wind 

May breathe the tale of the hollow ; 
Alas ! alas ! 
The secret is safe with the woodland grass. 

Southern Poems of the War. 49 


' Is there any news of the war V she said ; 
' Only a, list of the wounded and dead,' 

Was the man's reply, 

Without lifting his eye 

To the face of the woman standing by. 
' ' Tis the very thing I want,' she said ; 
' Read me a list of the wounded and dead.' 

He read the list — 'twas a sad array 

Of the wounded and killed in the fatal fray ; 

In the very midst was a pause to tell 

That his comrades asked, ' Who is he, pray 1 ' 

' The only son of the Widow Gray,' 

Was the proud reply 

Of his Captain nigh. 
What ails the woman standing near ! 
Her face has the ashen hue of fear ! 

Well, well, read on ; is he wounded 1 quick ! 
O God ! but my heart is sorrow sick !' 
' Is he wounded V ' No ! he fell, they say, 
Killed outright on that fatal day ! ' 
But see, the woman has swooned away ! 

Sadly she opened her eyes to the light ; 
Slowly recalled the events of the fight ; 
Faintly she murmured, ' Killed outright ! 
It has cost me the life of my only son, 
But the battle is fought and the victory won ; 
The will of the Lord, let it be done ! ' 

God pity the cheerless Widow Gray, 
And send from the halls of Eternal Day 
The light of His peace to illumine her way ! 



(By Miaa Marie Lacoste, of Savannah, Georgia.) 

Into a ward of the whitewashed walls 

Where the dead and the dying lay, 
Wounded by bayonets, shells and balls, 

Somebody's darling was borne one day. 
Somebody's darling ! so young and so brave, 

Wearing still on his pale sweet face, 
Soon to be hid by the dust of the grave, 

The lingering light of his boyhood's grace. 

Matted and damp are the curls of gold, 

Kissing the snow of that fair young brow, 
Pale are the lips of delicate mould — 

Somebody's darling is dying now. 
Back from the beautiful, blue -veined face 

Brush every wandering, silken thread, 
Cross his hands as a sign of grace — 

Somebody's darling is still and dead ! 

Kiss him once for somebody's sake ; 

Murmur a prayer, soft and low, 
One bright curl from the cluster take — 

They were somebody's pride, you know. 
Somebody's hand hath rested there ; 

Was it a mother's soft and white 1 
And have the lips of a sister fair 

Been baptised in those waves of light ? 

God knows best. He was somebody's love ; 

Somebody's heart enshrined him there ; 
Somebody wafted his name above, 

Night and morn on the wings of prayer. 
Somebody wept when he marched away, 

Looking so handsome, brave and grand ; 
Somebody's kiss on his forehead lay, 

Somebody clung to his parting hand. 

To Washington. 51 

Somebody's watching and waiting for him, 

Yearning to hold him again to her heart : 
There he lies, with the blue eyes dim, 

And smiling, childlike lips apart. 
Tenderly bury the fair young dead, 

Pausing to drop on his grave a tear, 
Carve on the wooden slab at his head, 

'Somebody's darling lies buried here!' 

The day is a long distance off when songs of 
the war will be heard in American drawing-rooms 
with as little political feeling being aroused by them 
as when a young lady in England sings ' Charlie is 
my darling/ or 'Bonnie Dundee/ There is, I be- 
lieve, a similar collection of Northern Songs of the 
War, which I intended to have bought on my return 
to New York, but unfortunately forgot it in my 
hurry at leaving. 

Jan. i, 1867, Tuesday. 

Yesterday being New Year's Eve, we transferred 
ourselves to Washington, for the purpose of present- 
ing ourselves to-the President at his grand levee this 
morning. Following our rule of always going to the 
largest hotel, we are at Willard's, where there is 
already a large assemblage of Members of Congress 
ready for the opening of the House on the 3rd. 
I have bought the ' Congressional Directory of the 
Second Session of the Thirty- ninth Congress of the 
U. S. of America.' There are great blanks in every 

E 2 


page ; Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louis- 
iana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, 
Texas, and Virginia, having neither senator nor re- 
presentative in the present Congress. There are no 
Southerners in Washington except those who are 
making interest for their pardons. 

On New Year's Day in Washington it is the 
custom to call on all your friends : the more dis- 
tinguished members of society stop at home and 
' receive ; ' and the rest of the world, each with a list 
of his friends in his hand, pass the day in going from 
house to house, paying rounds of morning- calls. 

We put our letters of introduction in our pocket, 
and sallied forth to see if we could find somebody to 
present us to the President. We found all our dis- 
tinguished friends were engaged in receiving visits, 
and all our less distinguished friends occupied in 
paying them. Then it occurred to us that this was 
a free country, and that it was the misfortune of the 
President of the United States that anybody might 
call upon him, whether introduced or not. So we 
walked quietly up to the front-door of the White 
House, and joined the string of people going in. 
A military band was playing in the hall. We passed 
through two ante-rooms, and just inside the door of 
the third room we came unexpectedly upon two 
gentlemen in black frock-coats and white kid-gloves. 
The taller of them waved his hand in the direction of 

The President's Reception. 53 

the other, and said, ' The President, Gentlemen. 5 
The President shook each person by the hand, and 
said, ' Good morning, sir ; I am happy to see you.' 
Behind him was a background of ladies, more black 
frock-coats, and a few blue uniforms ; then we found 
ourselves propelled out at another door into the 
hall again, past the military band, and out at the 
front-door — a simple ceremony, leaving very few im- 
pressions on the mind, beyond the facts, that the 
President was in good health, that he was not a sort 
of man likely to let himself be bullied, and that 
considering the amount of hand-shaking he had gone 
through that morning, his white kid-gloves were still 
in very good order. 

To the members of the Diplomatic Corps this 
total absence of ceremony is by no means agree- 
able. An ambassador or minister at a European 
court has a pleasant and dignified position ; but in 
Washington it seems to be rather the opposite. The 
Americans have always prided themselves on keep- 
ing aloof from European politics, and on not be- 
longing to the family of nations ; one result of which 
is that they do not put themselves out of the way to 
make much of the representatives of foreign courts. 
They have no ceremonies of their own to which to 
invite the ceremonious ; and looking on ministers as 
men, of course all men are equal. 

But whatever minor griefs befell the Diplomatic 


Body before, everything seems to have been capped 
upon the occasion when the Senate appointed Mr. 
Bancroft to deliver the oration at the Capitol upon 
Mr. Lincoln's character and death, and all the Diplo- 
matic Body received official invitations to attend. 
Mr. Seward gave Sir Frederick Bruce a hint of what 
was coming • and he very properly refused to take the 
hint, and was present in his place, as were all the 
other representatives of foreign nations. They all 
sat in their places ; and in the course of his oration 
Mr. Bancroft took each of their countries one by one 
and abused them to their faces. He edified the 
English Minister by an exposition of Lord Palmer- 
ston's useless career as compared with that of Mr. 
Lincoln. He did not even spare Belgium, but gra- 
tuitously mentioned that she was gravitating towards 
France, and it was a question of time how soon she 
would be swallowed up. The speech was applauded 
to the echo, and all eyes were fixed upon the Corps 
Diplomatic. The Corps Diplomatic not being a 
united body, could not agree to rise together and go 
out, and sat through it all. At dinner next day at 
Mr. Seward's, Mr. Bancroft was charged with the 
unfairness of his attacks, especially upon the innocent 
Belgium. He explained that he had meant to say 
that when France had changed her government, and 
had adopted Liberal principles, that then Belgium 
would naturally gravitate towards her ; and added 

Mr. Stanton. 55 

'perhaps I did Belgium an injustice ; but I did want 
to get at that fellow Palmerston.' There are, I think, 
not many Americans who would justify the good taste 
of Mr. Bancroft's speech ; but Lord Palmerston's name 
has much the same effect on an American orator as 
a red rag on a bull, or an orange one on an Irishman. 
I fancy Washington was a much gayer place for 
young attaches before the war than it is now. The 
houses of the Southern members took the lead in 
gaiety and dissipations. 

Jan. 2, '6j, Wednesday. 

Called at the War Department upon Mr. Stanton, 
the Secretary of War. Work is slack just about New 
Year's Day, and he was able to give us half an hour's 

One of the novel expedients employed in the war 
was the raising negro regiments, which appears to 
have been a politic step in more ways than one ; it 
saved the lives of white troops ; it elevated the 
negro, raising him in his own eyes from a slave to 
a soldier, giving him the opportunity of striking a 
blow in aid of the liberation of his race ; and it was 
particularly irritating to the South. This move was 
chiefly owing to Mr. Stanton ; so that I was curious 
to hear what character he would give to the negroes 
as fighters. He said, ■ Our black troops fought well ; 
I know no instance of their running away, where 


white troops would probably not have done the same. 
They knew they would get no quarter ; perhaps that 
had something to do with it, for the rebels killed 
all they took. We employed more than 100,000 
negroes in the army, and they were very useful 
soldiers. But they died from much slighter causes 
than the white men, although they had the same 
doctors, and the same medicines and hospitals, and 
the same kind of wounds as the whites : I never 
could fairly account for it' I ascertained afterwards 
that the proportion of deaths to cases treated, of both 
wounds and sickness, was among the white troops 
one to fifty-two ; and among the coloured troops 
one to every twenty-nine cases treated : the mortality 
among the negroes was all but double that among 
the whites. He said of Mr. Goldwin Smith, ' He was 
one of our best friends in England at a time when I 
expect we had very few.' It is to Mr. Stanton's great 
talent for organisation that the North attributes great 
part of their success. He impresses you with the 
fact of his being a man of purpose and method in 
every little thing he does ; curiously quiet and deli- 
berate in his movements, and does only one thing at 
a time. While he was speaking, a paper was brought 
for his signature ; he stopped speaking, signed the 
paper, and resumed the sentence. When we left he 
presented us each with a copy of his last Report as 
Secretary of War. 

Negro Regiments. 57 

I gathered some more military gossip to-day, ■ from 
reliable sources/ as newspapers say. The whole 
number of troops on the books during the war ex- 
ceeded 3,000,000 of men. The largest number on the 
books at any one time exceeded 1,000,000 of men. 
Of that million there were actually at one time in 
the field 800,000 men. 

The War Department, acting on a resolution of 
Congress, are now raising six regiments of negro 
troops to be led by white officers — four regiments of 
infantry, and two of cavalry. It is proposed that 
promotion from the ranks shall not go beyond the 
grade of sergeant-major. Some troublesome Mem- 
ber of Congress will no doubt propose that -these 
regiments shall also be officered by negroes. But in 
the opinion of those qualified to judge, this would 
never answer. ' You cannot mix black soldiers and 
white in the same regiment ; no officer would under- 
take to command them.' 

The Negro Question is the great question here, and 
you perceive interests me much. A southern gentle- » 
man at the hotel was telling me to-day, that the h 
negroes are showing a great willingness and anxiety * 
to send their children to the new schools, and have 
them taught. The little darkies are very quick at 
learning ; and many at six years of age can read 
quite well. A great deal of northern capital is go-jj/ 
ing south, buying up sugar plantations. The large ™ 


plantations are being split up and divided into smaller 
holdings. The lands are to be bought at very low 
prices ; but there seems little prospect of getting 
labour to work them. Cotton manufactures were 
just being started in the South when the war broke 
out, and my informant thought it would be a good 
speculation to introduce them now, but could not 
explain where the labour was to come from, or the 
profits, at the present rate of wages. 

Jan. 3, '67, Thursday. 

We went this morning over the Capitol, an enor- 
mous edifice still in progress ; parts of it are con- 
tinually built on to, and rebuilt, to meet the wants of 
the legislature. The two new white marble wings 
are very beautiful, and nearly complete, and the 
dome is on the same scale with them, and of the 
same material. The centre is now out of proportion 
since the wings were built, and is of stone, painted 
white to match the rest in colour and preserve it from 
the frost. If the South had succeeded in seceding, it 
might have sufficed ; but now it is bound to grow, 
and Congress are going to vote the amount of dollars 
necessary to make the Capitol complete. When com- 
pleted it will be magnificent. 

We are very unlucky in seeing these great marble 
palaces (for several of the public buildings of Wash- 
ington are of this material) with the snow upon the 

Marble Temples. 59 

ground. Against the pure white snow they appear 
dingy ; under a summer sun they must show to far 
greater advantage. What ancient Athens appeared 
like, surrounding its marble temples, I can hardly 
realise ; but the effect of the splendid public build- 
ings in Washington is very much detracted from by 
the sheds and shanties which are near them. The 
builders of Washington determined that it should be 
a great city, and staked out its streets accordingly 
twice the width and length of any other streets : 
rightly is it named the city of magnificent distances. 
But although the Potomac is certainly wide enough, 
and apparently deep enough, to justify a certain 
amount of trade, and its situation is more central 
than that of Philadelphia, the town has never 
grown to fill the outlines traced for it. 

To make a Washington street, take one marble 
temple or public office, a dozen good houses of brick, 
and a dozen of wood, and fill in with sheds and fields. 
Some blight seems to have fallen upon the city. It 
is the only place we have seen which is not full of 
growth and vitality. I have even heard its inhabi- 
tants tell stories of nightly pig-hunts in the streets, 
and of the danger of tumbling over a cow on the 
pavement on a dark night ; but this must refer to 
bygone times. One of the most curious and charac- 
teristic of the great public buildings of Washington 
is the Patent Office, in which a working model is 


deposited of every patent taken out in the United 
States for the improvement of machinery. 

This assemblage of specimens is an exhibition of 
which all Americans are proud, as a proof of the 
activity of American ingenuity working in every 
direction. Capacity to take out a patent is a quality 
necessary to make up the character of the perfect 
citizen. Labour is honourable, but the man who can 
invent a labour-saving machine is more honourable ; 
he has gained a step in the great struggle with the 
powers of nature. An American who has utilised a 
water-power feels, I take it, two distinct and different 
pleasures ; first, in that dollars and cents drip from 
his water-wheel, and secondly in that he has in- 
veigled the water-sprites into doing his work. If you 
tell an American that you are going to Washington, his 
first remark is not, ' then you will see Congress sit- 
ting ;' but, 'mind you go and see the Patent Office.' 

Jan. 4, '67, Friday. 

We went to-day over the Treasury, the great 
manufactory of greenbacks. We have seen neither 
gold nor silver since we reached these shores. Stories 
are told of the inhabitants of Texas, and far distant 
States, whose habits in the matter of the circulating 
medium have become so vitiated by illegible green- 
backs and the multitude of forgeries, that it is agreed 
that any decent-looking imitation once accepted shall 

Greenbacks. 01 

be currency ; and the inhabitants do not trouble 
themselves about Government issues. This cannot 
be for want of the genuine article ; for we found five 
hundred young women employed day and night in 
turning out new greenbacks, and in destroying the 
old. These last are converted on the premises 
into the extremely dirty paper of which Govern- 
ment envelopes are made. I take it that a green- 
back which has once been in circulation can never 
be purified afterwards. I say 'young women/ for 
in this land there appear to be no old men or old 
women ; either they die at middle age, or are some- 
how improved away, or keep out of sight as consider- 
ing themselves out of place in a young country. 

The destruction of greenbacks in circulation is 
enormous ; the Treasury considers that over ten per 
cent, of those below a dollar in value perish in the 
using ; which I take it is all clear profit to the 
Government, just as a certain Irish bank is said once 
to have been set on its legs in consequence of the 
insurgents destroying its notes for the purpose of 
ruining it. If in England banks make profits by the 
loss of their notes, none of which are of less value 
than £5, and are taken corresponding care of, ima- 
gine the gain upon a currency in which shillings, 
sixpences, and coppers are all made of paper. 

The young ladies work by relays ; one set from 
8 a. m. to 4 p. m., and another from 4 p. m. to mid- 


night. The women earn from 40 to 50 dollars — be- 
tween £6 13s. 4:d. and £8 6s. Sd., and the men from 
100 to 150 dollars currency, or between £16 13s. 4c?. 
and £25, per month. The paper is counted as given 
out for each printing, and accounted for by the 
pressman to a sheet, when delivered in. The women 
seemed all to be working hard and well. Whether 
they will ultimately succeed in getting the franchise 
in America, time will show. They evidently know 
how to improve their opportunities ; for when the 
war was going on, and the men were otherwise em- 
ployed, the women slipped into a multitude of oc- 
cupations in which they had never been employed 
before. Singularly enough, they are not employed 
here, as with us, by the Telegraph Companies. 

From the Treasury, we went off to the Navy Yard, 
presided over by Rear-Admiral Radford. Saw a 
Nasmyth hammer forging an anchor-stock,- striking a 
blow equal to a hundred and eight tons ; saw a shaft 
weighing in the rough 49,000 tons being turned for 
a screw steamer ; saw a marvellous machine for test- 
ing the quality of iron bolts in three ways, by pluck- 
ing them asunder, by crushing them together, and by 
twisting them in two. It plucked asunder for our 
edification a two-headed iron bolt an inch in diameter, 
exerting a power equal to 27,000 lbs. • this was con- 
sidered a very good quality of iron. We saw rows of 
anchors, not Trotman s ; and rows of the soda-water- 

General Grant. 63 

bottle-shaped 15 -inch Dalghren guns, many of them 
with their muzzles blown off. We were shown also 
a large collection of the rifles and revolvers used or 
rejected by the U. S. navy. They have just ordered 
for the use of the navy two thousand Remington pis- 
tols, same construction as the Remington rifle. These 
are breech-loaders, superseding revolvers, which in the 
matter pistols is surely a mistake. Henry's breech- 
loading rifle appeared to me to be the best in theory 
of the magazine rifles which fire a number of car- 
tridges without reloading. The 'magazine' resembles 
a second barrel placed beneath the ordinary one ; the 
charges being driven back from the muzzle to the 
breech by a spiral spring like that of a Palmer's 
lamp, and admitted into the breech from below. The 
Spencer magazine rifle fires seven charges without 
reloading ; but the number fired by the Henry is 
only limited by the length of the barrel. 

Jan. 5, '67, Saturday. 

We called this morning upon General Grant, with 
a note of introduction from Mr. Stanton. At the 
present time, when the President and the Congress 
are defying one another, and are at open rupture, 
although the President is according to the Constitu- 
tion the Commander in Chief of the army, the Gene- 
ral in Chief becomes a very interesting person. All 
parties seem to be agreed that he is the only eminent 


man in America who knows how to hold his tongue : 
this makes the newspaper speculation still more 
vague, as he stands committed to nothing. His 
enemies say that he is a man without ideas ; (Gene- 
ral Sherman is supposed to have too many ideas, and 
General Grant too few ;) his friends reply that he is 
the man who produced the one idea which decided 
the war, that which Mr. Lincoln described as ' peg- 
ging away / namely, that if there was no pause in the 
fighting, the side which had the fewest men would 
be exhausted first. The South had a given number 
of soldiers, to which not one could be added from 
without ; but as many men landed every day from 
Europe on the Northern coast as their army was 
losing in the field. His enemies say that he is a 
man without skill or knowledge in politics ; his 
friends that he possesses the far higher qualities of 
bei ng honest and straightforward. ' Politician/ in 
America, is often used as a term of reproach ; and ex- 
presses all those qualities which we expect to find in 
an electioneering agent His enemies say that he 
"used to drink a good deal ; but when this was repre- 
sented to Mr. Lincoln, he replied, ' I wish you would 
make out where he buys his whiskey ; I should like to 
lay in a little of that liquor for my other Generals/ 

I suppose we did not look like insidious politicians 
come to entangle him in his talk, as the General 
gave us twenty minutes' pleasant chat. He had not 

General Grant. 65 

been well for the last day or two, and received us 
very much as though we had dropped in upon him 
in his tent, with his coat unbuttoned, and a cigar 
in his mouth. Conversation ran upon the immense 
amount of oratory which has to be done by members 
of Congress, upon whom it is imperative that they 
make speeches whether they can or not. It is said 
that speeches upon any subject are to be bought in 
Washington written to order, as sermons are in Lon- 
don. In both Houses speeches are allowed to be read. 
Of course the fatal time came at last, when the 
speechmaker sold the same speech to two members, 
and it is to be found printed in the records of Con- 
gress in duplicate not many pages apart, without 
variation in sentence or stop. 

The General told a story of some judge in North 
Carolina, of Southern proclivities, who having disco- 
vered in the statute-book of the State a clause that 
no man who had been flogged should afterwards ex- 
ercise civil rights, has recently set himself to work to 
flog as many of the negroes in his district as he can 
bring under the lash, in order to disqualify them for 
citizens in case Congress shall give them votes. 
Colonel Badeau, General Grant's courteous secre- 
tary, promises us letters to General Sheridan at New 
Orleans, and to General Sherman at San Louis, 
should our route take us into those parts. 

In the afternoon, the kind Mrs. H. drove us over 



to a negro fete at Arlington Heights, about three 
miles from Washington on the other side of the Po- 
tomac. The negroes during the war fled from all 
parts to Washington, under the idea that they would 
.receive protection in the neighbourhood of Congress. 
Although more than 5,000 have been transported at 
the expense of Government to other States where 
employment was to be had for them, they are very 
unwilling to leave the districts in which they have 
established themselves ; and the coloured population 
in Washington and Georgetown its suburb is still 
about 22,000. Their confidence seems not to have 
been misplaced ; the freedman's bureau has worked 
hard and successfully in finding homes and employ- 
ment for them in Maryland and Virginia. 

They were crowded into filthy shanties, for which 
exorbitant rents were charged; the bureau has 
fitted up four barracks in or near Washington, accom- 
modating 350 families ; and 400 acres of land at 
Arlington have been divided into small lots, and 
rented to freedmen at nominal rents. A hospital 
containing 200 beds has been opened at Washington, 
and another of 50 beds at Arlington, where also a 
Home was established for aged and infirm and per- 
manently disabled freedmen, in which 90 inmates 
are accommodated. In Georgetown a Coloured 
Orphans' Home provides for over 100 children, 
who are sent out to service in the Northern States. 

Arlington Heights. 67 

Similar measures have been taken at Alexandria. 
Between June i, 1865 and September 1, 1866, 
Government rations were furnished daily to more 
than 5,000 freedmen and refugees in the district of 

We crossed the frozen Potomac by the long wooden 
bridge along which the armies of the North had 
marched out, past great earthworks now covered 
with snow, which had been thrown up to defend 
Washington against Richmond, and arrived at Arling- 
ton Heights at the door of a large barnlike school- 
room. After much squeezing we got our two ladies 
through a dense and odoriferous crowd of excited 
negroes on to a front bench ; and found the reporters 
present, and the platform occupied by philanthropic 
members of Congress. They told the negroes that 
they were men and brothers, and spoke of the ser- 
vices of the negro troops in the war, and how a glo- 
rious future lay before the coloured people, if they 
would wake up and be doing. I wish you could 
have seen the joy of the darkies. Half what was 
said they could not understand ; but the sound of the 
loud voices of the orators had a kind of intoxication 
for them ; and the women rocked themselves to and 
fro on their seats, and groaned at the pathetic pas- 
sages, as if at a methodists' meeting. 

In a general way it is very difficult to tell one 
negro from another ; but the variety of types of 

F 2 


faces assembled here was very striking. They must 
have been gathered from at least half a dozen dif- 
ferent tribes of Africa. After the speeches they were 
going to have a grand feast of meat and plum pud- 
ding in another large schoolroom all decorated with 
evergreens ; but we could not stop to see, and drove 
back along the ' Old Virginny shore,' through what 
was once General Lee's park, now a military ceme- 
tery, of which the General's house is the office. The 
house stands on a height on the south bank of the 
Potomac ; and from the great portico in front General 
Lee used to contemplate the Capitol and the whole 
city of Washington spread before his eyes along the 
lower northern shore. 

The General is now head-master of an extremely 
popular college in Virginia. 

The War Department is now engaged in gathering 
into fifty-one national military cemeteries the dead 
who lie scattered over the Southern battle-fields. On 
June 30, 1866, these cemeteries contained already 
the bodies of 104,528 Northern soldiers. When all 
the harvest of dead is gathered in, it is calculated 
that they will contain the bodies of 341*670 men. 
Of these graves 138,901 will be nameless and un- 
identified. At the heads of 202,761 will be placed 
small headstones of iron coated with zinc, resembling 
the labels with which the gardener marks his seed- 
patches, bearing in raised iron letters the name, rank, 

Military Cemeteries. 69 

regiment, and company of the man who lies below. 
With them will be buried the remains of 13,657 rebel 
prisoners. The remainder of the Southern dead are 
to be left buried where they fell. 

Jan. 6, '6j, Sunday. 

We got letters of introduction to-day to General 
Beauregard, now residing at New Orleans as manager 
of the New Orleans and Ohio Railway ; and also to 
Mrs. Davis, the wife of Mr. Jefferson Davis, now 
living with her husband in Fortress Monro. When 
the Potomac is not frozen, it is easy to get to For- 
tress Monro by the steamboats ; but in the present 
weather we hardly see our way to an interview with 
the ex-President of the South. 

Called upon Mr. and Mrs. F. just returned from 
a thirteen days' journey of 2,700 miles. They had 
been by rail from Washington to New Orleans and 
back, visiting on their way several of the Southern 
battle-fields. Mrs. F. told me that at Chattanooga 
where General Hooker's ' Battle in the Clouds' was 
fought, she stood on a hill from which the whole 
battle-field was visible, and on the slope at her feet 
were the assembled graves of 7,000 men. Mr. F., 
describing a journey he made two years ago, in 
company with Mr. Speaker Colfax, as members of a 
Government Commission, into the far West, said, ' On 
this side the Rocky Mountains is a great tract some 


500 miles in width, called " the Plains ;" the rainfall 
on the Plains is very small from May to October, 
averaging only one inch ; and except at the water- 
courses, there is little vegetation there. The buffa- 
loes in spring cross the Arkansas river, travelling 
northwards across the Plains to the Missouri river. 
In the autumn they go south again. You can form 
no idea of the numbers of them. I stood upon an 
eminence having a view about as extensive as that 
from the steps of the Capitol looking south ; and the 
land was black with buffaloes, which appeared to my 
eye to be grazing as thickly as sheep in a pasture- 
field/ I should put the view from the steps of the 
Capitol as about four miles. This sounds like a pas- 
sage translated from Herodotus; but I am very cer- 
tain of the truthfulness of the speaker. He spoke 
also of the certainty of a great war with the Indians 
before long in consequence of the encroachments on 
these hunting-grounds. 

Mr. G. called this morning. Lamented the licence 
of public language used both in and out of Congress. 
This is both an effect and a cause of the bitterness 
of political strife. ' Men indulge in public in such un- 
measured invectives against one another, that they 
cannot afterwards come together again in the ameni- 
ties of private life ; and when once they become 
enemies are irreconcilable. The present Government 
is composed of men who differ in opinion upon many 

Political Manners. 71 

points, and quarrel openly. Such a Government in 
any European country would go to pieces directly. 
In the old countries, where you have discontented, ill- 
fed classes, politicians have no difficulty in getting 
a following. Here they quarrel among themselves, 
and nobody cares. Political language has become 
stronger, political manners coarser, and political 
hatreds more bitter, every day since the war.' I do 
not state this as my own opinion, but as the opinion 
of my friend. 

Jan. 7,'6j, Monday. 

We spent most of the day at the Capitol, this 
being a somewhat remarkable day in the annals of 
Congress. At the present moment the republicans * 
have a supreme majority in both Senate and House 
of Representatives ; and the President has alienated 
all their sympathies by taking in hand the recon- 
struction of the South himself on his own authority, 
instead of leaving the work for Congress to do. The 
republicans who won the battle mean to reap the 
glory and the advantage. They are now turning to 
rend the President ; and when they have made him / 
powerless, will reconstruct the South in their own J 
fashion. In this country political parties are far better 
organised out of the House than they are with us, 
but the forces in the House are not so well disci- 
plined. The leader of the Opposition cannot count 


upon the votes of his followers unless he has taken 
their votes first outside the Chamber. A meeting 
held for this purpose is called a Caucus ; why it is so 
called, I cannot get any body to tell me. 

On Saturday last a Caucus of the republican 
party was held, to arrange their line of action. It 
was agreed that there should be as little talking as 
possible, inasmuch as the democrats will talk against 
time, and the object will be to get to the voting as 
speedily as possible. 

To-day the republicans made a very fair beginning. 
In a speech of about three minutes' length, Mr. 
Ashley, the member for Nevada, moved for the im- 
peachment of the President, on the ground of his 
having corruptly used his pardoning and his vetoing 
powers. This motion was referred by the House of 
Representatives to the Committee on the Justiciary, 
their legal advisers, to report upon. 

When this excitement was over, we went into the 
Senate ; and they on the same day by a two-thirds 
majority of republicans overthrew the President's 
veto on the Columbia Bill. The republicans are 
feeling their way to conferring the franchise upon all 
the negroes ; and are beginning with Columbia, the 
district surrounding Washington. Columbia is not 
a part of any State ; Congress acts as its State 
Government, and also as the Federal Government 
of the United States, just as the Pope undertakes to 

Columbia Bill. 73 

govern the Papal States in particular, and the world 
in general. The two Houses having passed a bill that 
every coloured man who had resided for one year in 
the district of Columbia should possess the suffrage, 
sent it up to the President, who returned it to-day 
with his veto, assigning his reasons. The chief rea- 
sons assigned were : that although Congress does 
constitutionally make State laws for the district of 
Columbia, yet they are not representatives elected 
by that district ; that a vote had recently been 
taken of the white citizens of the district, and they 
had almost unanimously refused the suffrage to the 
negroes ; that the effect of the bill would be to 
alter the constitution of the district against the 
expressed wish of its citizens, and would result in 
its being filled with negroes coming in from the sur- 
rounding States. The Senate after a very brief 
debate overruled the reasonings and the veto by a 
two-thirds majority. To-morrow the House of Re- 
presentatives will do the same, and the bill will 
become law. 

We had the honour of being introduced to Mr. 
Colfax, the Speaker, who presides over the turbu- 
lent assembly with a promptness and decision which 
have a marvellous effect in expediting business ; and 
also to jg lr Tha ddeus Stevens "member for Pennsyl- 
vania, the leader of the now triumphant republican 
party. Mr. Stevens is in favour of a large measure 


of confiscation of land in the South, in order to 
depress the planter and elevate the negro. He men- 
tioned that he had been striving in vain to obtain 
information as to the principles on which the English 
Government proceeded in the matter of the confis- 
cation of the private lands of rebels after the Indian 
mutiny. There were two things, he said, well worth 
seeing in Washington (pointing through the window 
to the great Asylum for the Insane) ' the building 
over there, and the menagerie under this roof; but 
there is far better order observed there than here/ 
Certainly gesticulation sometimes borders on fero- 
city ; and the Deity is sometimes called upon to 
attest the truth of facts scarcely worthy of a special 
interposition of Providence ; moreover the door- 
keeper wears a set of shooting dittos, and in the 
afternoon carries his toothpick between his teeth, 
and members eat apples openly and without shame, 
and sometimes do put up one leg on the desk before 
them ; yet the indecorums of the House have, as far 
as my experience goes, been grossly exaggerated. 
Most certainly, so far as the republicans are con- 
cerned, Mr. Stevens has at present no reason for 
complaint on the ground of want of discipline. 

Jan. 8, '6j, Tuesday. 

Laid up with face-ache, not easy to be cured, when 
the temperature of the inside of the hotel is that of 

Breech-loading Rifles. 75 

the tropics, and outside that of the polar regions. 
I begin to desire to move southwards. 

Jan. 9, '67, Wednesday. 

We went over the Arsenal with General Ramsay, 
who is in command of it. He showed us a museum 
which he is commencing. It contains a series of 
specimens of the shot and shell used by the Con- 
federates ; who seem to have made use of every 
warlike invention known to man. A rack of rifles 
from the field of Gettisburg, every one torn or twisted 
with shot and shell, attest the hotness of the fire. 
A set of conical cannon-shot, stripped, or chipped at 
the base, in the firing, show that the fault was often 
not in the gun but in the shot. In the matter of 
breech-loaders the American Government are doing 
exactly what we are doing. They are not at present 
making a new musket, but are actively converting 
their muzzle-loading Springfield rifle, which is iden- 
tical with our long Enfield, into an Allin's breech- 
loader, which is a simpler form of Burdan's patent, 
fired with a copper waterproof cartridge containing 
its own ignition. The act of opening the chamber 
throws out the old cartridge. 

There were in the museum two very remarkable 
guns for keeping up a perpetual fire of rifle -balls 
upon an advancing enemy ; the Gatling gun, a four 
or six-barrelled revolver, mounted as a field-piece on 


wheels, in which the cartridges are fed in with a 
hopper like a mill, and the gun discharged by grind- 
ing a handle like an organ ; the other, the Nugent 
or Union gun, a somewhat similar single-barrelled 
revolver on wheels. Saw some of the huge Dahlgren 
guns, shaped like soda-water bottles. The soda- 
water-bottle shape is preferred to the telescope form 
upon this theory : — firing produces vibration ; and 
vibration crystallization of the metal. In the teles- 
cope-shaped jacketed guns, the vibration and conse- 
quent crystallization are greatest at the point where 
the metal suddenly decreases in thickness ; and the 
crystallization runs round the gun at right angles to the 
bore. In the soda-water-bottle shape, the vibration is 
more equally distributed, and the crystallization is lon- 
gitudinal, and therefore not so weakening to the gun. 
They were engaged in cleaning up and storing 
away the arms returned into store by the volun- 
teers. Never were rifles seen in such a state of rust 
and neglect. No American volunteer could ever be 
induced to carry his knapsack, and I should doubt if 
he ever cleaned his rifle. The official statistics of 
wear and tear derived from the experience of three 
years of war are curious. The consumption by loss 
and wear per annum was as follows : — 
Cavalry carbines, 20 per cent. 

„ pistols, 26 per cent. 

„ sabres, 26 per cent. 

Shot expended in the War. 11 

Cavalry carbine accoutrements, 26 per cent. 

„ sabre accoutrements, 31 per cent. 
Infantry rifles, 13 per cent. 

„ accoutrements, 16 per cent. 
This would indicate the average service -life of 
cavalry carbines at five years, of cavalry pistols and 
sabres at four years, and the same of all cavalry ac- 
coutrements except those for sabres, whose average 
duration is only three years. The average service- 
life of infantry rifles is seven years, and that of 
infantry accoutrements six years. 

The ordnance stores provided for the military ser- 
vice, from the first of January 1861 down to midsum- 
mer 1866, being a period of five years and a half, 
including the entire period of the war, were — 
7,892 cannon. 
11,787 artillery carriages. 
6,335,295 shot and shell. 
6,539,999 pounds of grape and canister. 
2,862,177 rounds fixed artillery ammunition. 
3,477,655 small arms. 

544,475 swords, sabres, and lances. 
2,146,175 sets of infantry accoutrements. 
216,371 sets of horse equipments. 

28,164 sets of two-horse artillery harness. 
732,526 horse blankets. 
1,022,176,474 cartridges for small arms. 
1,220,555,425 copper caps for small arms. 


10,281,305 cannon primers. 
4,226,377 fusees for shell. 

26,440,054 pounds of powder. 
6,395,152 pounds of nitre. 

90,416,295 pounds of lead in pigs and bullets. 

They keep here very little gunpowder in store. 
Powder is dangerous to keep, and is always dete- 
riorating ; while nitre can be kept with safety for 
any length of time, without impairing its quality ; and 
during the war it was found, that with an abundant 
supply of nitre on hand, gunpowder could be manu- 
factured rapidly enough to meet any emergency. 

Congress have been at work to-day upon the Ne- 
braska Bill. It is proposed to exalt several of the 
Territories into States, Nebraska among others. 
The resolution before the House is to the effect that 
no Territory be admitted as a State, unless all citi- 
zens, whether black or white, have an equal franchise. 
The resolution affects not to interfere with the right 
of every State to say who shall be, and who shall not 
be citizens, but makes the equal franchise of white 
and black a condition precedent, to be fulfilled before 
any Territory will henceforth be admitted as a State 
into the Union. Sarcastic democrats assert that 
there is but one black man in all Nebraska. The 
bill is in fact a declaration of the principles upon 
which alone the rebel States will be re-admitted into 
the Union. Bills are also being introduced into the 

Mixed Drinks. 79 

House to limit the President's power in every possible 
way. Heretofore, every four years, at the election of 
a new President, the whole of the minor office-holders 
under Government who were appointed by the out- 
going President, have had to make way for the nomi- 
nees of the new President. It is proposed, and with 
good reason, to put an end to this system, and for 
fear of any further usurpations by the President, the 
new Congress will meet on the 4th of March, the 
day on which the present Congress expires. 

In the evening we went to General Grant's recep- 
tion. At other houses you meet only people of your 
host's way of thinking, but here there was a con- 
siderable mixture of parties and politics. 

Jan. 10, '6j, Thursday. 

At the Capitol all day. On our way back, we 
were introduced by an experienced man about Wash- 
ington to the bar of the Metropolitan Hotel. As a 
skilful compounder of all mixed drinks the barkeeper 
of the Metropolitan is considered to stand very 
nearly at the head of his profession ; one result of 
which is, that the Metropolitan Hotel turns out to be 
a half-way house wherever you may happen to be 
going ; and the bar is always full of gentlemen illus- 
trating the popular song, 

' 'Twixt you and I, I really think, 
Tis almost time to take a drink.' 


I can testify personally to his ' Tom and Jerry' and 
his ' Curaeoa Punch,' as being very toothsome on a cold 
day. The raw spirits of this country, the rye and 
Bourbon whiskey, and the gin, are to my taste by no 
means first-rate ; and this no doubt is one great reason 
why the art of mixing has been brought to such ex- 
cellence. Some of these mixtures are such com- 
pounds of seductiveness and treachery, that Congress 
is meditating a resolution to prohibit the sale of 
liquors anywhere about the Capitol — a Maine Liquor 
Law as regards its own premises, to which the 
Metropolitan Hotel will raise no objection. A skilful 
brewer who could induce the American loafer to 
drink home-brewed ale when thirsty, instead of pick- 
me-ups, and to leave the fire-water to the Indians, 
would do good service to the nation. The French 
are becoming a beer-drinking people ; the same thing 
may come to pass some day in America. 

In the evening to the H.'s where I met Mr. 
King, a gentleman just returned from a six years' 
Government surveying expedition in Colorado, New 
Mexico, and the Sierra Nevada. They have been 
mapping an almost unknown country. Some idea 
of their labours will be conveyed by the fact that 
they have triangulated and laid down a chain of 
mountains heretofore unmapped and unnamed, con- 
taining more peaks above 14,000 feet in height and 
covered with perpetual snows, than are found in the 

Survey of Neiv Mexico. 81 

Alps. They had to do the work of an Alpine Club. 
Their large collections of minerals and fossils, and 
also their natural history collections, are still at San 
Francisco, and it will be some five or six years before 
their Report can be published. 

He described the enormous trees on the western 
slopes of the Rocky Mountains. In one part they 
discovered a belt 1 50 miles in length of the Welling- 
tonia, the big tree of the Crystal Palace. One hol- 
low trunk, of which both ends had been destroyed by 
fire, lay on the ground. The whole party rode their 
horses through the tube from end to end. In the 
middle, the tallest of the party stopped his horse, and 
standing on his saddle could just touch the roof of 
the tunnel with his hand. This may sound scarcely 
credible, but I am informed and believe that Mr. King 
is one of the most veracious and reliable of men. 

The party discovered also what appears to be a 
remarkable evidence of the antiquity of man. The 
Sierras are granite mountains ; and at the foot of the 
western slope is an extensive gravel-bed. Granite 
and gravel are covered with an enormous bed of lava. 
This western slope is furrowed with great ravines 
called Canyons, sawed in by glaciers of the glacial 
period. These Canyons have been cut through the 
hard lava and granite to a depth of from 2,000 to 
3,000 feet ; and above the lava upon the present sur- 
face of the soil, grow the great trees, the Wellingtonias, 



the section of whose timber shows more than 2,000 
rings of annual growth. The gravel-bed is auriferous, 
and is being washed for gold. Over a wide extent 
of this gravel-bed they found bones of the Mastodon, 
Camel, and extinct Tapir ; and with them stone im- 
plements and stone mortars, which when found are 
still used by the Digger Indians to pound their 
roots in. A gold-mining shaft was sunk through 
the undisturbed lava-bed into the gravel, and in 
the gravel at the bottom of the shaft was found 
a human skull. 

Now the skull is found in the gravel ; and the 
gravel was there before the lava was poured over it ; 
and the lava was there before the glaciers sawed 
through the lava covering, and deep into the granite ; 
and the climate had changed, and a soil had been 
formed by vegetation, before the great trees could 
grow upon the lava ; and the rings in the great trees 
have chronicled more than 2,000 years since that time ; 
— how long ago is it since the man lived in company 
with the Mastodon, the Camel, and the Tapir 1 It is 
a remarkable circumstance that the overhanging of 
the brow, and whatever else may be peculiar in the 
skull, is also characteristic of the skulls of the Digger 
Indians who now dwell upon the slope above. Has 
the skull of one of the modern Digger Indians got 
perversely by accident into a hole beneath the lava 1 
Or are the present Indians, now living on the spot, 

Evidence of Antiquity of Man. 83 

the descendants of the owner of that skull'? Has 
the race survived through an indefinite number of 
thousands of years, seeing the granite mountains, 
now covered with lava and now with ice, without one 
single step of progress towards a higher civilisation % 
Where volcanic action has once taken place, it is often 
repeated ; and volcanic action sometimes turns strata 
strangely wrong way up. I have the testimony of 
Professor Agassiz, that the scientific men who com- 
posed the surveying expedition were competent and 
careful men ; and they were firmly convinced that 
the shaft was sunk into the gravel through an un- 
broken bed of lava lying above it, and that the skull 
was disinterred from the gravel beneath. 

Jan. ii, '67, Friday. 

We drove with Mrs. H to see the Insane 

Asylum, as recommended by Mr. Thaddeus Stevens. 
The building contained 450 insane patients — men 
from the army and navy, and men and women from 
the district of Columbia. There is a separate Insane 
Asylum for the coloured people. If the patients have 
money of their own, or near relations able to pay, 
a charge is made of from ten to fifteen dollars 
(£1 13s. to £2 9s.) a week ; if they have no such 
means of payment, the State pays for them. All 
come in on terms of equality, officers and men alike, 
under the same roof. The patients are grouped by 

G 2 


Dr. Nichols, the Governor, into families of from ten 
to twenty patients each. Each family occupies a 
separate corridor, high, well-lighted, carpetted, and 
hung with engravings; those of the women have 
abundance of flowers and singing-birds, and a piano. 
The corridor is the saloon, and the bedrooms open 
out of it on either side ; the door of the corridor 
is locked, those of the bedrooms all stand open. At 
the end of each corridor is an oriel window, and 
another at the side, which makes a break in the 
uniformity. From these windows you have extended 
and magnificent views of Washington and the Capitol, 
the Navy Yard, up and down the Potomac, and the 
Virginian shore— most beautiful prospects. One or 
more attendants are always present in each corridor. 
Each family has a separate dining-room, and dine 
together at one table. 

All the cooking is done at two kitchens. One is 
for the routine cooking, which is always the same ; 
the other is for the preparation of the specialities 
of each day's diet. The physician, who visits each 
corridor every morning, has two slates ; on the one 
which goes to the dispensary he writes the prescrip- 
tions, and on the other he writes the specialities of 
diet for that day, which are made up in kitchen 
number two. The kitchens are in the basement; 
and the passages in the basement correspond to the 
corridors above. They are traversed by a little tram- 

The Insane Asylum. 85 

way ; and to every corridor there is a lift. The 
dinners are placed upon a truck, which runs along 
the line. The truck starts at the sound of the 
dinner-bell. Each lift is a station ; and when the 
truck returns to the kitchen-door, all the dinners 
have been sent up. 

Dr. Nichols informed us that he had several 
patients under his charge, two of them women, 
whose monomania is that they are the only people 
capable of reconstructing the South and carrying on 
the government of the United States at the present 
time. This fact ought to be reported to Mr. Stevens 
for the embellishment of his joke when next used. 

We were at a house yesterday, when two ladies 
called, both quite young and in deep mourning ; 
each of them had lost her husband in the war ; one 
within three months, and the other within a year, 
after marriage. It was sad to see the two young 
widows going about together. One of them had just 
been to the War Department to ask if she might 
have her husband's letters which were filed there, 
and Mr. Stanton had ordered them to be copied for 
the use of the office, and the originals given to her. 
These two ladies both interest themselves in the 
negro schools. There is a powerful influence for 
good for the negro in the sympathy felt for him 
by all the Northern women who lost husbands or 
brothers in his cause. The giving help to the negro 


is a kind of tribute to the dead man s memory, and 
a carrying on of his work. 

On our way back from the Asylum we got out at 
the Navy Yard and walked across the ice of the 
frozen Potomac to the iron-clad gunboats, six in 
number, which were lying there, with their curved 
iron- plated decks just above the surface of the 
water, and without a trace of bulwark round the 
sides : they looked like gigantic, flat, frozen -in 
water-beetles, each bearing a turret on its back. 
On the turret of one I counted the marks of 
forty- three cannon-shot, none of which had done 
any real injury, or made an indentation more 
than two inches deep. Each was armed with two 
1 5 -inch Dahlgrens, side by side, like a double-, 
barrelled gun, firing through the same aperture, and 
revolving with the turret. Not far from them lay 
the captive ram ' Stonewall,' said to have been built 
for the Confederates in France, and given up at the 
time of the general surrender, in Cuba, before she 
had time to play her part in the war. She may 
see strange sights yet, as the Japanese are said to 
be in treaty for the purchase of her. 

Jan. 12, '6j, Saturday. 

Drew money from Messrs. Biggs the bankers. Gold 
being at 133 in New York, the Washington banker 
puts it at 132, but charges no commission. 

Surgeon-General's Museum. 87 

Went to see the Surgeon-General's Department. 
Here there is a curious museum, consisting of speci- 
mens of injuries done to the human body by shot 
and shell. It is being arranged in the building 
which was Ford's Theatre, in which Mr. Lincoln was 
assassinated. The Government has wisely thought it 
best to obliterate the scene of the murder ; and the 
interior of the theatre has been subdivided into 
rooms for the museum, and offices for the Surgeon- 
General's Department. The 'wet specimens,' those 
bottled in spirits, we did not see, as they were not 
yet arranged ; but the glass cases of broken bones, 
cracked and smashed, and bulbous and exfoliated in 
every form of distortion, as poor mother nature had 
tried to glue them together and splice them again, 
gave some idea of the horrors of war. In one case 
was a neat collection of extracted bullets, which 
seemed to have got knocked into every shape which 
would be most difficult of extraction from a wound. 
One which had struck a soldier's pannikin or can- 
teen, and had coiled the wire handle round itself, 
must have been specially uncomfortable ; another had 
struck a man on the penknife and carried it into his 
body ; another bore the mark of the worm at the 
end of a ramrod on it, and a story attached. The 
surgeons could not get the bullet out, but an Irish 
friend of the patient insisted on having a try for 
himself, and drew the bullet from the wound with 


his ramrod, in the same style as he was in the habit 
of withdrawing the charge from his gun. One 
curious specimen they show consists of three verte- 
brae of the lower part of a man's neck ; these (which 
cannot be far from the spot where he stood when he 
killed Mr. Lincoln) are said to have formed part 
of the spine of Booth the assassin, and show 
where the bullet struck him when he was captured. 
It was stated at the time that his body was thrown 
into the sea ; but it would appear from this that the 
surgeons got hold of him somehow. It was said that 
when the Crimean war began, we had lost the pattern 
of our ambulances, and nobody knew how to make 
one. The Americans have carefully stored away here 
specimens of stretchers and ambulances, and all field 
hospital apparatus. May they also have the oppor- 
tunity of losing their patterns before they want 
them again. 

It may be worthy the notice of those who are 
forming societies for succouring the wounded on all 
battle-fields, that during the progress of the war 336 
members of the regular and volunteer medical staff 
found themselves unable to heal themselves. The 
statistics of casualties among them were : — Killed 
in battle, 29 ; killed by accident, 12 ; wounded in 
battle, 35 ; died of wounds, 10 ; died in rebel prison, 
4 ; died of yellow-fever, 7 ; and of cholera, 3; died of 
other diseases, 271. 

Numbers killed and wounded in the War. 89 

The present work of the Surgeon-General's De- 
partment is that carried on by a large staff of clerks 
on the ground-floor, who work all day at huge 
ledgers as though they were doing the business of 
some great mercantile house. These men are en- 
gaged in cataloguing, and arranging in elaborate 
statistics, the returns of all the hospital cases during 
the war. As the medical and surgical staff employed 
during the war consisted of more than 6,000 men, 
who made as careful memoranda of every case as 
opportunity would allow, you may suppose there 
is some work to do. When this work is completed 
there will be, safely stowed away in fireproof rooms, 
1 6,000 folio volumes of hospital registers ■ 47,000 
volumes of burial records and alphabetical registers 
of the dead, containing the names of 250,000 white 
men, and of 20,000 coloured soldiers. Out of 3,000,000 
men who were on the books at different times during 
the war, the ' Johns ' whose bodies lie mouldering 
in the grave were rather more than one to twelve 
as compared with the ' Johnnies ' who wounded or 
unwounded came rolling home. In settling the 
claims of discharged soldiers and of widows and 
orphans, these records have been referred to many 
thousand times in the course of the past year. The 
total number of surgical cases already classified and 
recorded, is of 'wounds' 133,952, and of 'operations' 
28,438. I take my figures from the Surgeon-General's 


printed Eeport. In all these matters Mr. Stanton's 
love of method, and talent for organisation, is as con- 
spicuous in peace as it was during the war. 

From his Eeport also, I copy the following ex- 
tract : — ' From date of Act of Congress July 1 6, 
1862, authorizing artificial limbs to be furnished, to 
July 1, 1866, there have been supplied by this De- 
partment to maimed soldiers 3,981 artificial legs, 
2,240 arms, 9 feet, 55 hands, and 125 surgical appa- 
ratus/ After such a war as this has been, there 
is no small amount of sweeping up, and tidying 
away, and mending of broken images, to be done. 

In the evening we went to an entertainment some- 
what in the style of the Dodeka evenings in the 
Temple, at which the host was expected to open the 
proceedings by a mitigated lecture on some subject, 
for the promotion of discussion. Our host on this 
occasion gave us a very interesting account of his 
own experiences at the battle of Gettisburg. He 
was himself attached to the division of General 
Humphreys, which on the first day's fighting was 
not up to the front. 

The battle, which lasted three long days, was 
brought on by General Lee's sending a detachment 
into the village of Gettisburg to seize a depot of 
shoes, of which his men were greatly in want ; they 
came in collision with some Federal skirmishers ; 
supports were brought up on either side, and at 

Aides-de-Camp at Gettisburg. 91 

length the two great armies found that they were 
face to face with one another. On the first day the 
Confederates had the best of it. General Humphreys' 
division was in the rear, and were marching to the 
front that night, under orders to take up a position 
in the centre of the Federal line of battle by break 
of day, and be ready for the second day's battle. 
On the road they were met by an aide-de-camp, who 
stated that he knew the country and was authorized 
to guide them into position. He led them by mis- 
take in the dark past the right flank of the Confed- 
erate lines, and then round to the right in rear of the 
enemy's centre, until they were actually not far from 
General Lee's head-quarters. They discovered where 
they were by inquiring at a public-house by the road- 
side. Fortunately they were on a sandy road, and 
the rumble of the artillery was not heard ; the 
buglers were kept quiet ; and they returned on 
their steps without being attacked ; marched all 
that night, and reached their appointed position in 
the centre of their own line of battle at noon in- 
stead of at daybreak. 

The second day's battle was begun at two o'clock 
by an advance and attack of the Confederates upon 
the Federal left, which after hard fighting they drove 
back in disorder. An aide-de-camp then came up from 
General Meade, and ordered General Humphreys to 
march his division to the left, and reinforce the left 


wing. This would have opened a great gap in the 
centre of the line of battle. The aide-de-camp was 
positive, and the orders were about to be obeyed, 
when General Meade was seen in the distance ; 
General Humphreys rode off and spoke with him, 
and the order was revoked. As the left wing fell 
back, General Humphreys' division, which was next 
to it in the line, soon had to bear the full brunt of 
Lee's attack. They fell back slowly, driven back 
from the valley, retiring up the rising ground in 
their rear, and before the end of that day's fight 
their division of 5,000 men had lost 2,000 killed and 
wounded. The confusion of orders, and mistakes of 
aides-de-camp, seem to have been enough to lose 
any battle. One commander of a Federal division 
that afternoon was seen to advance his division into 
the valley, far in advance of the line, without orders 
or supports ; General Ewell let him come on until 
he had him, and then enveloped the division with 
an overwhelming force, and cut it all to pieces. 

A second night the armies rested opposite one 
another, with low open land — a valley of death — 
between them. The battle began on the third day 
by a cannonade from the Confederates, who had 
100 guns in position, followed by an advance of 
their whole line. They advanced across the val- 
ley, which was open and level, without crops or 
cover of any kind, and began to ascend the slopes 

Want of Maps during the War. 93 

on which the Federal line of battle was drawn up. 
They had been fearfully cut up by the artillery in 
crossing the open ground ; but as they began to 
ascend the slope, the fire upon them became so tre- 
mendous that they withered, broke, and fled. On 
the first day and on the second day, the battle was 
all but won by the South, and it was the opinion 
of many that if the North had lost at Gettisburg 
they would have made peace. 

Jan. 13, '6j, Sunday. 

Sunday was spent in saying good-bye to friends 
who had shown us many kindnesses and hospitalities. 
Called on Colonel Badeau, General Grant's secretary, 
who is engaged in writing a book to be entitled 
'General Grant and his Connection with the War/ 
Inasmuch as he has access both to the General's 
private papers, and to all the documents in the War 
Department, it will doubtless be a work of interest 
and authority. 

General Porter, who was sitting with him, was 
speaking of the want of reliable maps during the 
war. The war was nearly ended before they had 
a complete knowledge of the country. On Sherman's 
march it was the duty of a certain number of officers 
to collect information as to the next day's route. 
Each morning all witnesses likely to be able to give 
evidence were brought together and cross-examined 


by them ; then a tracing was made of a map of the 
next day's line of march ; this was photographed, and 
a copy sent to each commander of a division. 

You have heard of the Yankee talent for whittling. 
On one occasion the whittlers came to the rescue of 
the artillery. The batteries were silent ; for the shells 
had been forwarded in haste, without wooden tubes 
for the fuses, and without fuses the shells were 
useless. An augur was found in the arm-chest, of 
the right bore for the tubes. Timber was found, 
and sawed to the right length. A New England 
regiment produced their pocket knives ; each man 
cocked up his legs against a tree in front of him, 
sat, smoked, and whittled tubes, and the batteries 
were kept going all day. History is silent as to 
the accuracy of the practice. 

Went in the evening, for the last time, to our 

kind friends the H s, and met Mr. Commissioner 

Wells, who has been employed in drawing the new 
Tariff Bill. He proposes a visit to England in the 
Spring ; and we will hope will return a convert to 
free trade. Mr. Wells may very possibly be con- 
verted; but it will be many a year before the ma- 
jority of Americans are. All the old arguments for 
protection of everything are full of vitality here ; and 
Willard's hotel will shortly be full of New England 
manufacturers come to Washington to look after 
their interests and lobby their members. 

Block Houses. 95 

Jan. 14, '6j, Monday. 

Left Washington for Richmond at 6.30 a.m. by the 
Virginia Central Railway, via Gordonsville. The more 
direct route, the first part of which is done by steam- 
boat, is closed ; the Potomac being frozen. Our journey 
lay through a country every inch of which has been 
fought over. By the end of the war, most of the 
fences in Virginia had been burnt in camp-fires. At 
Alexandria, immediately after crossing the river, the 
line passes one of the large military cemeteries, with 
hundreds of recent graves still keeping the ranks in 
death. The long lines of little white headstones gave 
it the appearance of a newly-planted nursery-garden. 

Unfortunately it snowed more or less all the way 
to Richmond, 172 miles by this circuitous route. 
Judging by the land you see from the railway, it is 
a country well adapted for war : made up of rounded 
knolls divided by swampy brooks; each little hill 
easily convertible into a strong military position. 
About half is woodland, the rest cleared and planted 
apparently with maize. About half the cleared land 
still has the black stumps left in the fields. Here 
and there along the line you see ruined block-houses 
pierced for musketry, and enclosures of palisades 
wherever there is a station or a ford to protect. The 
logs are laid horizontally, notched into one another at 
the ends where they cross, and so built up into walls 


as in a log-hut. We passed through some of Beau- 
regard's entrenchments just before crossing the Bull 
Bun stream and at Manassas Junction. The battle- 
field is on the right of the line and close to it ; but 
as the snow was lying deep and falling fast, we 
went on our way to Bichmond without stopping to 
explore. Most of the stations in to-day's journey 
bore familiar names ; Springfield, Fairfax, Manassas, 
Bristoe, and Culpepper, are known to all who used 
to read the newspapers. To-day the snow was 
playing winding-sheet over all the battle-fields, but 
in Spring there are said to be fields along the line 
where graves are visible, and rifle-pits not yet filled 
up. The names of the rivers we crossed to-day have 
been written often enough by ' Our own Correspon- 
dents ' — the Potomac, the Bapidan, the Bappahan- 
nock, and the James Biver. 

The feathered snow came softly down and froze 
upon the trees. You cannot imagine anything more 
beautiful than the fir-woods covered with snow 
through which we passed for miles, then through an 
interval of open country, and then through woods 
again. The American oak wears its russet dead 
leaves the winter through, which, with the dark 
green firs and broken banks of red iron sandstone, 
make a beautiful contrast with the snow back- 

Upon this line, railway travelling costs half a 

Railivay Cars. 97 

dollar every ten miles, being five cents, or 2d a- 
mile. Our train kept its time very well ; but stopped 
where its conductor pleased in a most independent 
way. The coloured folk travel by themselves in the 
front car. Some mean whites do not object to travel 
with them ; we did so ourselves part of the way, but 
it was not the right thing. When I went in, an old 
negro stood up and said, < This is the coloured gen- 
tlemen's car, sar.' Presently the guard, here called 
' the Captain of the train/ came to a coloured gen- 
tleman, and asked for his ticket. The coloured 
gentleman unfortunately proved to have neither 
ticket nor money. The captain rang the bell which 
communicates with the engine-driver, stopped the 
train, and shoved the coloured gentleman off the 
step into the snow, to find his way forward or back 
as he should think best. 

There are great advantages in this arrangement of 
the American cars, which enables you to walk from 
one end of the train to the other. If one car is too 
hot, you can go to another ; if one car is too full, its 
surplus population can spread themselves ; but there 
is also the disadvantage that everybody can get 
at you. The boy who sells newspapers and light 
literature, the man who deals in ice-cream candy, 
the woman with hard-boiled eggs, and the man who 
will insure your life against anything, in a com- 
pany consisting probably of himself and his brother, 



are not to be evaded. In this train there were 
two agents of insurance companies ; one of them 
assured me that eighty-five per cent, of those 
who travelled on American railroads insured their 
lives. I admitted their wisdom, but declined to take 
a ticket. Then he tried me on the other tack, 
thinking I might perhaps like to take a share or 
two in the company, and told me a story of a dread- 
ful accident at St. Louis, I think, in which hundreds 
of people had been injured, but the seven who had 
insurance tickets were not touched. The newspaper- 
boys are a study ; they do not live on the platforms of 
the stations, but inhabit the cars. Probably an Ame- 
rican news-boy by^ the time he is fifteen has tra- 
velled 50,000 miles. Each has a large chest, which 
represents his home, and in which he keeps his 
wares. First he perambulates the train and sells 
his daily papers ; these are perishable merchandise, 
and will not keep ; when no one will take another, 
he retires to the stove and eats an apple, and then 
goes and arranges his chest ; when he is not going 
his rounds he is always arranging his chest. It is a 
sort of shell to him, only whereas the snail puts his 
tail inside the shell, the newspaper-boy put his head 
and shoulders, leaving his legs outside to be tumbled 
over. In half an hour's time he goes round with 
his illustrated weekly papers, dealing one to each 
passenger likely or unlikely (because the unlikelies 

Neivs Boys. 99 

would be offended if omitted) as if lie was distri- 
buting handbills. This is done on the same principle 
as that on which Sam Slick used to leave Dutch 
clocks on chimney-pieces until ca]led for. Ten 
minutes afterwards he comes round to collect them 
again, and generally sells three or four to passengers 
who have only got half through the column of jokes. 
Half an hour after that, when travellers are getting 
weary of looking out of the windows, he distributes 
magazines to the public, and then his art is to return 
for the book at the moment when you have reached 
the most interesting part of the story. One of them 
confided to me that his profits on newspapers and 
light literature were fifty per cent., out of which he 
got twenty for himself. For a five-cent paper you 
pay ten cents. Also that he travelled for nothing, 
on condition that he found the captain of the train in 

Arrived at Eichmond at dusk; went to the Ex- 
change Hotel, which seems to be inferior to the 
Fifth Avenue, but better than Willard's. 

Jan. 15, '6j, Tuesday. 

Got a carriage driven by a nice intelligent negro, 
and drove out to see the lines. Those we saw con- 
sisted of a line of forts, encircling Eichmond, earth- 
works, generally open to the rear, about two miles 
from the town, and about half a mile apart, each road 

h 2 


approaching the town is also protected by earth- 
works. The most conspicuous weather-cock in the 
town is a golden trumpet on the spire of one of the 
churches — no bad symbol of beleaguered Richmond, 
to which the wind brought tidings of war from which- 
ever side it blew. Saw four turkey buzzards sitting 
on a rail, looking exactly like disreputable turkeys ; 
they are the scavengers of this country. During 
the war time they are said all to have disappeared 
from Richmond, there was so much better feasting 

When the Confederates marched out, the town 
was set on fire in the tumult. It was nobody's 
business or care to put it out, and according to 
our landlord, 1,244 buildings, valued at 3,000,000 
dollars, were burnt. About one-half of the space 
cleared by the fire is now covered again with 
large handsome stores, said to be double the 
size of those they replaced. These are being built 
by Richmond men, but not by the owners of the 
former stores. Richmond is very different in ap- 
pearance from any city we have passed through yet ; 
it looks nearly a century older. You see in the 
suburbs a great many houses which look like the 
town-residences of well-to-do gentry. Some of these 
have large Grecian porticoes for shade, and others 
verandas, story above story, large enough to be in 
fact a set of open-air summer-rooms, showing that 

Negro Talk. 101 

it is hot here sometimes, though cold enough at 

Here follow memoranda of gossip with the negro 
driver, who does not know any one about here who 
has not been pardoned, and got his lands back again. 
The coloured people did think that some of the lands 
would have been distributed among them. Most of 
them are sending their children to school ; they pay 
a dollar currency (3s. ^d.) a month. The teachers 
are all women from the North. Coloured persons 
never get justice done them in the State courts ; 
their evidence is never believed. The juries are all 
composed of white men, and the verdicts are always 
for the white men against the coloured men. The 
cases are mostly cases of hiring and wages. Thinks 
the coloured people do quite as good a day's work for 
wages as they did as slaves. Was a slave himself, 
employed by the Confederates in the bullet-factory 
during the siege ; but ran for it, and got to the 
Northern lines. Was a hack-driver (cabman) before 
the war. Could not get employment for six months 
after he returned to Eichmond. The whites would 
not give employment to coloured persons who had 
joined the North. There was plenty of employment 
to be had if the whites liked to give it. Field-hands 
now are only getting from forty to sixty dollars 
currency (£6 13s. \d. to £10) a-year and their keep, 
and have to find clothes and shoes and tools. A man 


cannot buy clothes with it. The freedman's bureau 
somehow was no good. It was no use to go there 
and ask for employment. They had sent a delegate 
from Eichmond to attend the convention of coloured 
people now sitting at Washington. They elected 
him at a mass-meeting of coloured people. He was 
a hack-owner (lets flies and carriages) and had been 
a freedman before the war. Thought he was a very 
good representative. They had started a coloured 
persons' newspaper in Eichmond, called 'The New 
Nation/ edited by a white man. 

In the course of the drive we saw some half-dozen 
negroes carrying army-rifles, and wandering about 
the fields in search of game. Towards the end of 
the war many arms were thrown away, and stores 
abandoned ; and great numbers of the negroes seized 
the opportunity to possess themselves of good rifles. 
In some States the Governors have been apprehen- 
sive of negro insurrections, and applied for power to 
disarm them ; but the President refused assent. 

On our return we stopped at the Libby Prison, a 
good-sized old tobacco warehouse, by the roadside ; 
it consists of a ground-floor, and two stories above, 
each story having fifteen windows in a row in front, 
and seven at the side, all covered with strong iron 
bars. It is now purged and whitewashed, and par- 
titioned off inside into soldiers' quarters, a hospital, 
and prison. According to the corporal who showed 

Libby Prison. 103 

us over, the Confederates used to keep 1,500 pri- 
soners in it, who all slept upon the floor, and were 
never upon any pretext allowed to go outside. If 
this was the case, the rest of his story is not to be 
wondered at, that sixty of those who were imprisoned 
in the ground-floor scratched a tunnel out through 
a cellar wall, and escaped, all except one, who was 

In the afternoon we went up to the Capitol, where 
for four years the Confederate Congress sat. The 
State Senate and House of Eepresentatives were in 
session, and the latter were discussing the repeal of 
a statute which forbids any one to lend money at 
a higher rate of interest than six per cent. This 
sounds as if the statute law of Virginia was still 
somewhat Elizabethan. 

Jan. 16, '67, Wednesday. 

By rail to Petersburg, twenty- two miles. Starting 
at 4.20 a.m., we arrived at 5.40 a.m. at Jarratt's 
Hotel, Petersburg. The capture of this town was in 
fact the conclusion of the war ; it held out for nine 
months, defended by Lee and besieged by Grant ; 
and when General Lee was at length compelled to 
quit, and marched out westward without supplies or 
provisions, he surrendered a very few days after at 
Appomattox Court-house ; and the Southern cause 
was lost. 


The main attack was from the south and south- 
east. Eichmond had been attempted in vain in front 
and in flank ; General Grant sat himself down reso- 
lutely in rear, between Eichmond and the South, to 
.the siege of Petersburg, the key of the defences of 
the Southern capital. He seized and held the Weldon 
railroad, and so cut off the communication between 
Petersburg and Wilmington, a Southern port much 
frequented by blockade runners ; and then con- 
structed a military railroad to City Point, on the 
James Eiver, by which his own stores and supplies 
could be brought in from the North. The general 
plan of the siege was very much that of the old siege 
of Plataea, as recorded by Thucydides : Lee at the 
head of the defending army, with his right and left 
flank resting on the Appomattox Eiver, surrounded 
the south side of the town with a line of entrench- 
ments — earthworks mounted with cannon. General 
Grant enclosed Lee and the town with one line of 
entrenchments, and protected his own rear by another 
similar line ; so that the town, protected on the north 
by the Appomattox Eiver, was girt on the south by 
a triple ring of earthworks. The Northern lines in 
front and rear, surrounding General Grant's en- 
trenched camp, form a continuous stretch of earth- 
works of more than twenty-three miles. If you 
add to this the lines necessary to keep open the 
communications with the James Eiver, the Federal 

The Lines. 105 

entrenchments measured more than thirty -two miles, 
comprising thirty- six forts and fifty batteries. At 
Fort Steadman, where we first got out, the opposing 
lines were not more than two hundred yards apart, 
and between these were the picket lines, about one 
hundred yards from one another. Fort Sedgwick in 
the besiegers' lines is also not more than two hundred 
yards from its rebel vis-a-vis, Fort Mahone. These 
two made it so hot for one another, that among the 
soldiers on either side they went commonly by the 
respective names of Fort Hell and Fort Damnation. 
The earthworks are still, after two years, in sufficient 
repair to be instructive as to the arts of war em- 
ployed. You can still -trace winding trenches going 
down to the picket trenches (the outworks in advance 
of the main lines). The embrasures for the guns, 
made with gabions (circular hurdles filled with soil), 
are still in repair. There are the ragged remains of 
the sand-bags with which the parapets were made, 
and between which the riflemen fired. The negroes 
are now living in Bombproofs (huts of strong timber, 
sunk in the ground and covered with three or four 
feet of sand, in which the soldiers in the trenches 
were sheltered from shot and shell). There are re- 
mains of the abatis (rows of sharp pointed rails, 
sloping forwards, planted like pikes in the ground, 
to check the approach of the enemy under fire, and 
prevent surprises) ; and there are still one or two 


chevaux-de-frise (beams covered with spikes and 
hung on chains), for the same purpose as the abatis. 
But the negroes are using abatis to fence in their 
seed-plots, and chevaux-de-frise for firewood. The 
entrenchments are all scored and furrowed like an 
old rabbit-warren, by their digging for bullets. Some 
notion of the ammunition expended here may be got 
from our negro driver's statement, that when they 
first began digging after the siege, they often got 
two and three dollars a-day by gathering bullets and 
cannon-shot ; selling the old lead at from five and 
a half to six and a half cents a pound. Bullets are 
risen in value now. I bought three of a little nigger 
for five cents ; one was genuine, the other two had been 
expressly cast for sale by the little nigger's father. 

We visited the ' Crater,' where a mine was driven 
by General Burnside, under one of the forts in the 
Confederate lines. These mining operations were 
conceived and executed by a Pennsylvania regiment, 
recruited from the coal country. They began to dig 
their tunnel at a point in a hollow out of sight of 
the enemy. They drove a passage 510 feet in 
length, right under the fort, and cut a cross tunnel 
at the end, like the letter T ; and filled the cross-bar 
of the T with 8,000 lbs. of gunpowder. According 
to the report of the commanding officer, ' The charge 
consisted of 320 kegs of powder, each containing 
25 lbs. — in all 8,000 lbs. of gunpowder;' and 'The 

The 'Crater! 107 

size of the crater formed by the explosion was at 
least 200 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 25 feet deep.' 
The hole has gone by the name of the ' Crater ' ever 
since. The mine was fired at break of day, and shook 
the town and country for miles round. Two hundred 
and fifty men are said to have been killed by the 
explosion, and bodies and limbs were thrown even 
into the Federal lines. Burnside's troops, which had 
been massed in the hollow in the rear, rushed in, and 
got possession of about eight hundred yards of the 
Confederate lines ; while the instant the roar of the 
mine died away, a tremendous cannonade began 
along the whole of the Federal entrenchments. In 
two days' hard fighting the Southerners drove them 
out again ; and after the flags of truce were sent out, 
four days had passed before the dead were all buried 
and the wounded removed. 

The ' Crater ' and the mine are now partly sur- 
rounded by a fence ; and are shown at twenty- five 
cents a head, by one Griffiths, who farmed the land 
before the siege, and now makes a living as show- 
man. Take the showman for what he is worth. He 
said, ' Twice during the siege I have seen my farm 
nearly covered with dead men. It is calculated that 
upon the forty acres just round the * Crater' 48,000 
men were killed/ At last the besiegers effected a 
permanent lodgment in the Confederate lines, thus 
cutting them in two ; and after a nine months' siege 


Petersburg was no longer tenable. On the 15th of 
June, 1864, General Grant crossed the James Biver, 
and commenced the siege. On the 3rd of April, 
1865, General Lee, abandoning his line of pickets at 
their posts, marched silently out by night. 

Back to the hotel, past the old brick church and 
cemetery. In the cemetery is a wooden cross, with 
only this inscription, ' To our soldiers/ On the hills 
bordering the Mississippi valley, the future centre of 
American greatness, are the marks of great entrench- 
ments, made by a race who lived before the red man 
came there, of whom nothing more is known, not 
even whether they were black, white, or red ; only 
that they dug entrenchments. But I doubt if the 
siege of Petersburg will ever be thus forgotten on 
the continent of America. 

' John Brown's body lies a mould'ring in the grave, 
Yet his soul goes marching on.' 

Pray that it march not on too fast. 

At 1.30 p.m. we left Petersburg for Norfolk, by 
rail eighty- one miles. The line runs for seventy 
miles almost on a level, in a perfectly straight line 
through the forest. Ten miles of this, shortly before 
reaching Norfolk, traverse the northern end of ' the 
Dismal Swamp,' the refuge of runaway negroes in 
the Uncle Tom period. The Dismal Swamp is a belt 
running about a hundred and fifty miles from north to 
south, and from fifteen to twenty miles in width 

The Dismal Sivamp. 1.09 

a first-rate place for concealment, if you are not 
afraid of shakes and agues. Cypress and firs and 
white oaks are the chief trees, with abundance of 
evergreen brushwood. One could imagine that there 
may be many negroes living still in the swamp, who 
have not yet heard that the war is over and they 
are free. 

Along this line the forest has been regaining its 
lost ground, while the settlers have been fighting. 
Here and there are lonely stacks of brick chimneys, 
showing where houses used to be. Cleared land 
quickly relapses again into forest. Little fir-trees, self- 
sown, spring up like beds of equisetm ; and the forest 
closes in again. Deer and bears are said to be very 
plentiful in the swamp ; and the wandering negroes, 
with their new army-rifles, are turning into a race of 
hunters. In every new clearance the stumps of the 
trees are left projecting some two feet above the soil. 
It has the appearance of a giant having been there, 
who has mowed a patch of forest with a scythe. A 
settler's life in an open country, where you can see 
some miles around you, may not be an unpleasant 
thing ; but life in a small level clearing, surrounded 
on every side by the dark wall of gloomy forest, must 
be fearfully oppressive. I can imagine a continual 
doubt in the squatter's mind, as he smokes his even- 
ing pipe at the door of his log-hut, whether he is 
gaining on the forest, or the forest on him. There is 


no natural open land in these parts ; a settler com- 
mencing a clearance resembles the picture of Gulliver 
in the Brobdignag field of wheat ; and it is a problem 
how to get the first tree to fall to the ground. The 
cleared patches lie along the sides of the railroad ; 
and the line is used as the chief footpath from one to 
the other. The passenger who sat opposite me in 
the cars, was a rebel who had left Baltimore in 1861, 
for the war ; and was now for the first time returning 
home to his friends. Those who have fought for the 
South, speak without hesitation of themselves as 
' rebels.' 

At Norfolk we took steamer for Fortress Monro, 
on the other side of the mouth of the James Biver ; 
about an hour's voyage, on a beautiful moonlight 

Jan. 17, '67, Thursday. 

Before the war there was a huge hotel here ; and 
Fortress Monro strove to be a fashionable watering- 
place. But the hotel was demolished because it was 
in the way of the guns of the fortress ; and the 
Secretary of War objects to its being now rebuilt. 
The Hygeia Hotel, at which we put up, has wooden 
walls, and a tin roof, close under which we slept ; 
so you may imagine the noise made by a big hail- 
storm, in the middle of a stormy night. The wind 
appeared to rejoice in three practical jokes ; first, to 

Mr. Jefferson Davis. Ill 

press against that corner of the wooden house in 
which we were trying to sleep, and howl, and shake 
the whole house ; then to lift up the eaves of the 
tin roof, and blow in under them ; and lastly, to 
make a tremendous noise by every now and then 
rattling and rumpling the sheets of tin overhead, as 
if a load of firewood had been emptied on to the top. 

At 10 a.m., having got a pass without difficulty,- 
and sent in our letter of introductionjta-Mrs. Jeffer- 
son Davis, we were admitted to see< j\Ir. Da vis^ We 
found him in comfortable rooms, which might be 
described as good officers' quarters in barracks, sup- 
plied with books and newspapers, and able to produce 
the cake and wine of hospitality. Mrs. Davis and 
a niece were living with him. Three tasteful gar- 
lands of leaves and flowers were hung over the 
chimney-piece ; and under them the illuminated 
text, painted on cardboard, 'With God all things 
are possible/ Mr. Davis was, I think, glad to see 
strangers ; and we stayed more than an hour with 
him. Very few visitors find their way to this out- 
of-the-way place, and especially at this time of year. 

He began by inveighing so strongly against the 
partiality of England for the North, in recognising 
a paper blockade, and in arranging the coaling sta- 
tions to suit the Northern cruisers, that I was 
obliged to suggest, that as Northern politicians held 
as strong views the other way, it was possible that 


England had been tolerably neutral. Speaking of 
the past and future of the negro, Mr. Davis said, 
* It is a gross misrepresentation on the part of the 
Abolitionists, that the marriage-tie and religion were 
•not observed upon the plantations. It was simply 
a matter of interest with every planter that they 
should be regarded. Negroes were never prevented 
from learning to read ; and some of them could write. 
They are a very imitative race, and quick to learn ; 
there will be no difficulty in teaching them to do 
anything they see white men doing. But as regards 
their power of taking care of themselves, they are 
mere children. Our negroes were not living as the 
Abolitionists say ; but were steady and happy and 
tolerably moral. Do you suppose that could have 
been a very bad mode of life for them, which has 
raised them to a position to which they have never 
anywhere been able to attain in Africa, by their own 
unaided efforts % The civilisation of the white man 
is the result of many centuries of training. You 
must give the negro time also ; they are hardly fit 
for the franchise yet. I had an old negro servant, 
who had bought his freedom ; and some one was 
advising him to go back to Africa, to Liberia. He 
said, " No, I am not so foolish as to trust my life and 
l^roperty in a country that is governed by black men." 
All the thinking men in the South recognised the 
fact, that as an economical question, it would be 

Mr. Jefferson Davis. 113 

much better for all parties that the negroes should 
be free, and work for wages : but there was another 
important question behind that ; namely, if they were 
free, would they work ; and if they would not work, 
what would become of them % I, for one, thought 
they would not work, and I think so still. Of course 
you can find a certain number of exceptions ; excep- 
tions prove the rule. They are thoughtless, careless 
fellows ; if left to themselves, they will work until 
they get wages enough to enjoy themselves, and then 
no more work. If the negroes will not work, then 
all the rice plantations in the South, which cannot 
be cultivated by white men, must be abandoned, as 
they are at this present moment.' 

Speaking of the subdivision of the large planta- 
tions now going on in the South, I suggested that 
one set of machinery could be made to do the work 
of two or three small plantations ; as one thrashing 
or ploughing machine does the work of two or three 
farms in England. Mr. Davis said, - I doubt if it 
would, unless you invent some other machinery 
from what we used to employ. A plantation is a big- 
thing ; and to make it pay well, should be worked 
under one head and one supervision. Cotton used to 
be produced at many cents per pound less than it 
will be produced at under the new system. 5 

He asked what progress Mr. Bright was making 
in England, and • if he began to realise the meaning 



of Universal Suffrage V I said, we should certainly 
have a Eeform Bill ; but that English Conservatives 
were not the men to make any concessions until they 
had a considerable pressure put upon them. ' That/ 
said Mr. Davis, ' is their duty, and is one of the 
greatest advantages you have in England. Do not 
be too hasty in giving the franchise. It is a thing 
you can give, but can never take away again. 5 He 
spoke of the high opinion he had of Mr. Cobden, and 
the pleasure he had once had in travelling with him 
on the Illinois Central Kailway, when Mr. Cobden 
was in the States. A suggestion of Mr. Cobden's was 
mentioned, that England should part with Gibraltar 
to Spain in exchange for a Free-trade Treaty. Mr. 
Davis said, 'Gibraltar is not perhaps of so much 
importance, now that steamships are used in war. 
Sailing vessels were obliged to have batteries and 
forts to take refuge under ; but still you must have 
fortified coaling depots for steamships. But England 
must take France into consideration, as well as Spain, 
when she thinks of giving up Gibraltar. Gibraltar 
is her basis of operations against France, and her 
heaviest blows at France have been struck through 

In alluding to the recent resolution passed by Con- 
gress, that no territories shall be admitted as States 
in which there is not an equal suffrage of all races 
and colours, Mr. Davis said, ' How would you like 

Mr. Jefferson Davis. 115 

it in England, if while your Keforni Bill was going 
on, a Congress of European Powers should meet, and 
pass resolutions as to who should have the franchise 
in England \ England especially ought to be con- 
scious of the value of preserving the freedom of all 
local and municipal governments. The New England 
Republicans think they are strengthening their hands 
by admitting Western territories as States. They 
had better consider what they are doing. It may be 
that the result will be to strengthen the agricultural 
interest against the manufacturer, and overturn his 

Speaking of the curious friendship between Russia 
and the United States, Mr. Davis said, • When 
Bodisco was Russian Minister at Washington, some 
one put the question to him, as to the origin of the 
friendly feeling between the two countries ; and he 
replied, " That it arose from the fact of their being 
the two freest countries in the world." ; 

Jan. 1 8, '67, Friday. 

Here we remain, still prisoners at Fortress Monro. 
It was so rough yesterday evening, that the steam- 
boat never came to take passengers to Norfolk ; and 
it is so cold this morning, that the ice in the river is 
forming fast. Shall we have to stop here until it 
bears % The mouth of the James River is compara- 
tively narrow here, and in the middle an artificial 

1 2 


island, called the Eipraps, has been built up, to carry- 
heavy batteries. The Eipraps and Fortress Monro are 
supposed to be able to stop the passage even against 
ironclads. We were getting very sick of the sight 
of the Eipraps, when in the afternoon a little steamer 
fortunately touched at our landing-stage, and took 
us back to Norfolk, just in time. Another night's 
frost like the last would have closed up Norfolk 
harbour. The half-frozen water was as thick as 
honey ; and a steamer just arrived had her shrouds 
cased in ice half-way up the mast, and her nettings 
frozen into a solid wall. 

The landlord at the Norfolk Hotel was engaged in 
teaching his inocking-bird to whistle ' Dixie ;' a pretty 
bird, resembling a large fly- catcher ; it is fed on 
chopped egg, boiled meal, and apples ; but flies and 
spiders are a treat. Two in a cage always fight and 
kill one another ; mockers never can stand being 

At 3.50 p. m. we left Norfolk by rail for Charleston, 
four hundred and fifty- one miles, arriving at 6 p.m. 
the next day. Fare, twenty- four dollars each, about 
five and three-quarter cents per mile, equal to rather 
more than twopence per mile. Sleeping-car, two 
dollars extra. We carried a detachment of some 
hundred and fifty men, of the 8th U.S. Infantry; 
and, before we reached Weldon, life was diversified 
by a free fight between two of them, in the next car 

Turpentine Farming. 117 

to ours ; which ended in one soldier cutting another's 
head open with the door of the stove, so badly, that 
the doctor had to be called in to ' fix him up.' After 
Weldon we took to the sleeping-car, the arrange- 
ments of which much resemble the berths on board 
ship ; save and except, that at 4 a.m. we had to turn 
out and dress, to cross the Cape Fear Kiver at Wil- 
mington, and take another train, without a sleeping- 
car in it, on the other side. Rivers in this part have 
appalling names ; last night we crossed the Roanoke, 
said to mean ' the River of Death.' There is a large 
Indian burying-ground on the bank, close to where 
we crossed, which possibly is the origin of the name. 

Daybreak was very beautiful. The carpet of snow 
had gone from the forest. A pale rose tint flushed 
all the western sky, forming a background to the 
dark pine-woods. Tall straight pines, rising sixty 
feet without a branch, stood out against the sky 
above the lower wood, looking like the flower- stems 
of the yucca ; and the level morning sun striking on 
their tops, made the red bark glow. By our last 
night's journey we have left the Northern winter 
behind us at last. 

Three parts of our way to-day lay through pine 
forest. This is the great district for making tar, 
pitch, and resin, by bleeding the tall pines to death. 
The bark is removed from the lower part of the 
trunk, in spring, on the south side ; and the exuding 


sap scraped off and purified. A tree may be bled for 
several years before it dies. When it dies it is not 
succeeded by another tree of the same kind, the ' long- 
leaf yellow pine ;' but the ' old field pine' takes its 
place ; a different tree, which I noticed before as 
covering the fields directly cultivation ceases. Para- 
sitic plants and rope-like lianas begin to appear ; 
and the white oaks and cypresses in the swamps are 
hung with ' Indian moss,' also called ' Spanish beard,' 
a grey pendent lichen, which looks as if the trees had 
been used to sweep the cobwebs from the sky. This 
Indian moss is an article of trade, gathered, and sold 
by the bale, and used to stuff mattrasses. Sometimes 
the line was carried on trestles across a lagoon, a wide 
swamp studded with tufts of hassock grass, and en- 
closed by the black woods ; all the trees round its 
edge muffled in the grey Indian moss. Wild ducks 
rose in all directions as we steamed across the lagoons, 
and there are said to be plenty of deer in the woods. 
At the ' breakfast house ' on the line, a sort of farm 
house, two stations beyond Wilmington, the goodwife 
was willing to board and lodge us both for ten dol- 
lars (£i 13s. 4d.) a-week, and assured us that we 
could shoot duck and deer to our heart's content ; 
but we had no dogs with us, and wanted to be 
getting on. Land in this level country may be 
divided into four kinds : first into 'land,' meaning 
dry land, forest or cleared ; secondly, ' Savanna land,' 

Shakes and Agues. 119 

meaning wet land ; thirdly, ' swamp/ meaning very 
wet land ; and fourthly, ' lagoon/ or shallow stag- 
nant lake. 

The great curse of all this country, and in fact of 
all America, New York not excepted, is ' shakes and 
agues ; ' vide ' Martin ChuzzlewhV If you go out 
before sunrise or after sunset, or sleep with your 
window open, any time between the first of Septem- 
ber and the middle of November, you feel, first a 
chill which nothing can remove, until a fit of burning 
fever follows it, which is ended for the time by a 
copious sweat. And this will last you some six 
months ; and, unless you have learned wisdom, you 
can catch it again next autumn. The attack comes 
every other day generally, but if you have it only 
every third day, it will last you much longer, and is 
more difficult to cure. The preventatives are, never 
to go out in a morning until you have had a good 
breakfast ; to keep the windows on the south side of 
the house always shut ; and all the windows shut 
when the sun is not shining. The complaint is fami- 
liarly spoken of as the ' Prevalent ;' and is said not 
to be found north of New York. It appears to rise 
from the swamps like a malaria, — if it be true, as 
stated, that when north winds blow, the north side 
of a lagoon is healthy, and vice versd. When the 
' Prevalent ' is very prevalent, families have to ar- 
range not to have it all at the same time. A fellow 


passenger told a story of his walking into a farm- 
house, where all, men, women and children, were 
' down in the fever ' at the same time ; and he, the 
stranger, had to go to the well and draw water for 
them. Fortunately my informant had a never-failing 
remedy, by which he professed to be able to exorcise 
any shakes and agues in three days' time. The 
remedy is simple : take a pint bottle of London 
brown stout before breakfast, for three mornings run- 
ning. This may be worth trying in the fen country, 
for the same complaint. 

Jan. 20, '67, Sunday. 

Tried to get a boat to take us to Fort Sumter, 
where the Confederates first opened fire upon the 
Stars and Stripes ; but the boatman considered the 
day too windy to go out. So we promenaded through 
the town, which is full of once rich planters' resi- 
dences, fine large houses with verandas on the south 
side from top to bottom. It was a perfect English 
summer's day, and in some of the gardens the roses 
were in full blow. 

In spite of the supposed distress, there seemed to 
be very few houses to let in the suburbs. Very little 
mischief seems to have been done by the bombard- 
ment. If there was, the inhabitants will not own 
to it. They put the total of the killed and wounded 
during the whole bombardment at fifteen, one or 

The Bombardment. 121 

two of whom were boys who succeeded in making 
unexploded shells go off. Nor is this to be wondered 
at, when it is considered that the bombarding guns 
were placed on Morris Island, certainly a good four 
miles off. They fired up into the clouds, at an angle 
of forty-five degrees ; so that the shot dropped out 
of the skies, almost perpendicularly, into the town. 
One came through the roof of this house, the Charles- 
ton Hotel, passed through some stories of bedrooms, 
and out through the wall of the great dining-room into 
the street. In 1861, before the bombardment began, 
about a quarter of the town was swept away by 
one of those huge fires, which like prairie fires sweep 
all before them in American cities, and has never 
been rebuilt. 

We walked straight through the town, and out 
into the fields, until we came to a field of cotton, 
now represented by dry sticks, but where we picked 
one or two of last year's seed-vessels, containing the 

genuine article ; with which F proposed that 

we should fill our ears to celebrate the occasion of 
our first 'picking cotton in de field.' On the way 
back had a chat with an Irishman, who had been 
five years in Charleston, and seemed to think it 
was everyway inferior to the old country. One of 
his complaints was, that the learning they teach 
in the schools here was such poor stuff, compared 
with what you get from a real Irish schoolmaster. 


His account of the way people suffer from shakes 
and agues was something awful. 

I wandered out by myself in the evening ; and 
smoking my pipe on the quay, descried a loggerhead 
turtle lying on the deck of a fishing-boat just 
come in. Turtle was asleep, floating on the water 
outside the harbour, when they espied him, lowered 
the boat, rowed quietly up behind him, and seizing 
him by the left leg, turned him on his back, in which 
position he cannot dive, and so handed him into the 
boat. The fisherman was a sturdy Ehode Islander, 
an obliging fellow, and took his scoop-net, and ladled 
strange bright fish out of the well, to show me bas- 
tard snappers and squirrel-fish, the like of which I 
had never seen before. Do the colours of the fish, as 
of the birds, get brighter under a southern sun % 
Then he made the turtle take a bite out of a board, 
to show off the power of his beak. 

His crew consisted of a Spaniard, a Negro, an 
Italian, himself, and his brother. The boat was the 
property of an old man on shore ; all expenses and 
gains were divided ; of these the boat paid and re- 
ceived two-fifths, and the crew divided the remaining 
three-fifths equally among them. Each of the crew 
made about 120 dollars (£20) a-month. On this last 
trip they had been twenty days out at sea, and had 
only been able to fish five days out of the twenty, on 
account of the weather. Their fishing lay thirty 

Fisherman s Talk. 123 

miles out. A man fishes with two lines. As soon as 
he has put one line over the side, he baits the other. 
Salt pork is the bait. Six hooks about a foot apart 
to each line. You pull up the lines as fast as you 
can bait, and sometimes get a fish on each hook. 

The Ehode Islander was disposed to gossip ; so 
we descended into his little cabin, and smoked there. 
He did not think the bombardment did much damage 
to the town ; but then in war the important thing is, 
not how many you can kill, but how many you can 
frighten. He had fought all through the war in the 
First Ehode Island Artillery, until he got wounded. 
The First Ehode Island Artillery had covered the 
retreat of the Army of the Potomac, on every occa- 
sion on which it had retreated. There were two 
Englishmen, a Cornishman and a Yorkshireman, in 
the First Ehode Island Artillery, who exhausted the 
patience of the whole regiment, by teaching them on 
all occasions how much better everything was done 
in England—' with us ; ' until at last the First Ehode 
Island Artillery could stand it no longer ; and when 
the Cornishman and the Yorkshireman began to lec- 
ture, used to stop their ears, and roar out ' "With us " 
be d— d: 

He had been down here a good deal before the 
war. ' You had no idea of the intensity of the hatred 
between North and South when the war broke out. 
They would not pray together. In the same cities 


there were churches for Northerners and churches 
for Southerners. At the beginning of the war, the 
Union men in the South had to fly for their lives. 
Some took to the woods ; they were hunted with dogs, 
shot, and hung. Those who escaped were the men who 
formed the spies and guides of the Northern invading 
armies. They led our cavalry in file through the 
woods, along the paths which lead among the turpen- 
tine farms. They knew every inch of the country.' 

The South seems to have been very united in its 
counsels from the beginning of the war. By fair 
means or by foul, the Union men in the South had 
such a pressure put upon them that they dared not 
stay. They had notice given them to go, and if they 
remained, it was at the peril of their lives. When 
the war began, they all fled northward ; since the 
war has terminated, they have been returning to 
their own homes. These are the ' loyal men ' of 
whom we read in the debates in Congress, who find 
that life and property is not safe in the South, for 
whose protection in some parts martial law is still 
necessary. It is not difficult to conceive with what 
feelings those who have fought to their last man, and 
were defeated chiefly for want of men, are welcoming 
the loyal men back to their homes. 

' That raiding used to be hardish work for the 
cavalry. Sheridan's men had three horses to a 
trooper ; they had often ridden two hundred miles 

Fisherman's Talk. 125 

in three following days. I have seen the men come 
in looking half-dead, with their eyes sunk in their 
heads, and their faces quite black. They had had 
no sleep since they went out but what they got in 
their saddles. You would think they could not fight 
when they came to an enemy, but they could.' 

' Sheridan was a great officer. In one of the battles 
(I forget which), he planted all his artillery in a 
cedar thicket, and drew the rebels on to it. There 
were two divisions, which fought and retired, fought 
and retired alternately, until the rebels were drawn 
on to a point, on which the fire of two hundred guns 
had been brought to bear ; then the two divisions 
retreated right and left ; and the guns in ambush 
opened with a roar ; and you might have picked up 
any particular piece of a man that you wanted. — One 
of the rebels here in Charleston told me that out of 
fifty men in his company, there were only six escaped 
from that fire. We did knock the spots off them that 
time.' (This metaphor, I take it, is from shooting 
the panther.) 

' General Grant was a regular fighter. He had a 
military education at West Point, and served as 
a lieutenant in the Mexican war. After the Mexican 
war he retired, and married. When the war broke 
out, Grant he wanted to join again ; but his father- 
in-law didn't like it, and said, "Grant, if you join, 
you go as a private soldier ; don't you take any 


command, or you will disgrace the family ;" — and he 
did as his father-in-law told him, he joined without 
any command at first ; and now he is General in 

Had a small talk also with an old gentleman, who 
scorned to acknowledge that the bombardment had 
frightened or hurt any one ; but mentioned that one 
evening as he was smoking a cigar on his veranda, 
a shot had fallen from the skies, and carried one of 
his pillars away. 

Jan. 21, '67, Monday. 

We got a small boat, manned by three negroes, 
hoisted sail, and went off to see the famous Fort 
Sumter ; or rather what remains of it. It was ori- 
ginally a casemated brick fort, with walls of great 
thickness, carrying three rows of guns, like a three- 
decker ship. The sea face is now a bank of rubbish, 
sloping straight down to the beach. When the ships, 
and the guns on Morris Island, began to batter the 
fort, it was very weak, as modern guns can knock 
down any wall. When they had knocked the walls 
all down, it was very strong, as no guns can produce 
any effect upon a bank of rubbish. The earth forts 
extemporised by Todleben at Sebastopol seem to 
have been the models for fortifications since. Some 
of the dismounted guns still lie on the shore, at the 
foot of the rampart of rubbish on which they once 

Sumter. 127 

stood. Solid shot and splinters of shell abound 
among the brick-ends. 

We tried to row across to Morris Island, a mile 
and a half from Sumter, where some of the guns 
which bombarded the town are still in position ; but 
the tide was running out fast, and we stuck several 
times on the shoals ; and were very near being left 
on a sand-bank until the next tide came to pick us 
up. Either our boatmen were profoundly ignorant 
of the navigation, or the harbour wants a good deal 
of looking to, as the obstructions put down are 
causing the channels to change and fill up. 

Niggers (they are not ' coloured persons ' yet in 
the South) are most artful flatterers. Having dis- 
covered that we came from England, and having 
inquired whether we had come by sea or by land, they 
began to praise English guns and English boots ; no 
boots had ever come to Charleston equal to those 
brought in by the blockade-runners from Nassau ; and 
there was no cloth like the English cloth. One of 
our three negroes was a field-hand ; the owner was to 
have half the produce, and the field-hand half ; the 
labourer to keep himself, and find his own clothes, 
shoes, and tools. This is a very general arrange- 
ment ; which will result in the master having to 
make advances, after which the negro will be greatly 
tempted to decline to work. Nothing exists in the 
nature of benefit clubs, which would be a substitute 


for the former owners' care of the sick and aged. 
I do not see how it could be made to work. The 
three coloured gentlemen looked extremely sagacious 
and provident, when I expounded the scheme to 
them ; but they never would pay up a second con- 
tribution. The negroes are emigrating in large 
numbers from South Carolina and the provinces 
which have suffered most by the war. They are 
going westward and southward, to Mississippi and to 
Texas ; where the soil yields better harvests, being 
newer and less impoverished ; and where the planters 
also have suffered less. South Carolina has fought 
to the last gasp, and will still be very desolate next 

Jan. 22, '67, Tuesday. 

Started at 8 a.m. for Augusta, 137 miles, where 
we arrived just at dusk, after travelling almost all 
day through interminable forest. Strolled through 
the town, which has the most enormous sandy wastes 
of streets, wider even than those of Washington ; yet 
we observed some show of evening toilet ; which 
must mean some amount of trade being done suc- 
cessfully by the husbands and fathers. The small 
amount of our fellow-passengers' luggage impressed 
us very much to-day. 

Sherman's Track. 129 

Jan. 23, '6j, Wednesday. 

Started again shortly after midnight for Atlanta, 
171 miles, making 308 from Charleston. Sleeping 
cars are proving themselves to be a great invention. 
At 10.30 a.m. we arrived at Atlanta. Here we 
come upon the track of Sherman's terrible march. 
He burnt Atlanta to the ground, leaving only two 
stores standing. The old wooden town is now nearly 
re-built of brick. We have now glorious summer 
weather ; making us rejoice that we have postponed 
going north, where all the world is snowed up, and 
trains are being dug out of the drifts : many stories 
in the papers also of gales upon the eastern coast, 
and wrecks about Cape Hatteras, causing me to 
rejoice that we had not gone south by ship as pro- 
posed at one time. 

As we approached Atlanta the country became 
more cleared and cultivated. Sixteen miles before 
reaching it, our eyes were rejoiced by the sight of 
Stone Mountain, a bare granite bluff, the first hill we 
have seen in America. The whole coast-line, down 
which we have travelled, appears to be one level flat. 
A good deal of stone is being quarried here for the 
new buildings at Atlanta. The city of Atlanta 
seems to have no particular natural advantages, 
but derives its importance from being situated at 
the junction of four railroads, which run north to 



Chattanooga, south to Macon, east to Charleston, and 
west to Montgomery. 

We dined this evening with a gentleman who left 
Europe for America some years ago to repair a 
damaged fortune. He had never taken root in the 
new country, but while speculating in cotton and 
in building land, had never ceased to yearn after 
the land of his birth. He has lived in troubled 
times, and during the six years he has been out has 
lost three children. I jot down memoranda of our 
conversation ; but the statements contained in them 
must be discounted with a due consideration for the 
bias of the speaker. 

He inveighed against the society of his city, which 
had but three topics of conversation, religion, dollars, 
and politics. Mind you, this comprises a good deal. 
He described the failures in the administration of 
justice. The judges are chosen by popular election 
guided by bribery ; they are generally young, ig- 
norant, and corrupt. The juries are often picked by' 
the sheriff from the bystanders, the loafers who at- 
tend courts of justice, sometimes the friends of the 
prisoner, or of one or other of the parties to the suit. 
The cost of law proceedings is immense, without 
any certainty of a fair trial. As regards the medical 
profession, there are no doctors upon whom any reli- 
ance can be placed : they study for their diploma six 
months only, two months in each of the three years 

Usury Laws. 131 

of preparation, and then consider themselves com- 
petent to treat all human complaints. 

He described the Usury laws, by which in Georgia 
you are prohibited from lending money at a higher 
rate than seven per cent. ; and the effect of the ' Stay 
Laws/ by which it has been enacted, that no man, for 
some months yet to run, shall be entitled to recover 
any debts. He spoke of the bribes supposed to be 
taken by Northern Congress men for obtaining par- 
dons for Southern rebels ; and of the way in which 
contracts were given away during the war, by the 
War Department at Washington, as matters of fa- 
vouritism, without regard to competition. He de- 
scribed the former easy life of the slaves ; their copious 
diet, their short hours of work, and provision in 
sickness, infancy, and age, as compared with then- 
present condition ; and asserted that cases of cruelty 
were as rare as cases of cruelty to his cows and 
horses inflicted by an English farmer. Cases, he 
admitted, there were, but very rare ; and the love 
which a man always has for his own property was 
sufficient to ensure the slave being still cared for in his 
old age, after the motive from self-interest had ceased. 
Nor did the arrangements of married life please him ; 
the style of the wife's dress and equipage being re- 
garded as an advertisement of the success of the hus- 
band's speculations, instead of the wife's contributing, 
as in the old country, to keep the gear together. 

K 2 


He explained the nature of the National Banks 
invented by Mr. Chase, which are all interested 
in upholding the national credit. Formerly the 
country was flooded with paper money, and it was 
the interest of the Banks to depreciate the Govern- 
ment currency, and push their own bank-notes. 
But now, if any of the National Banks break, the 
Government is responsible for its debts ; and it is the 
interest of all the capitalists engaged in banking to 
uphold the national credit. 

This was Mr. Chase's device : — A banker wishing 
to issue notes to the value of 90,000 dollars, was com- 
pelled to buy Government bonds to the value of 
100,000 dollars : these bonds are deposited at the 
Treasury, so that if the bank fails, the Government 
holds security supposed to be equal to one-tenth more 
than is necessary to pay the creditors. On all bonds 
so deposited, the Government pays the banker six per 
cent, in gold. Other bankers are not prohibited from 
issuing notes ; but if they do not purchase the due 
proportion of Government bonds, they have to pay 
the Treasury ten per cent, on all notes issued ; and of 
the amount so issued by them they have to make 
a weekly declaration on oath. This ten per cent, has 
had the effect of exterminating all the private banks, 
and there are now in America some 5,000 National 

Some managers of National Banks are said to 

National Banks. 133 

have played the following trick upon Mr. Chase. 
Depositing with the Treasury 100,000 dollars' worth 
of bonds, they issued and received value for 90,000 
dollars' worth of notes ; depositing the 90,000 dollars, 
they issued and received value for 81,000 dollars' 
worth of notes ; depositing the 81,000 dollars, they 
issued and received value for 72,900 dollars' worth of 
notes, and so on, the balance standing thus : — 

Deposits — Gold. Issues— Notes. 
100,000 90,000 

90,000 8l,000 

8l,000 72,900 

271,000 243,900 

An original purchase of 100,000 dollars' worth of 
bonds thus entitling the banker to receive 6 per cent, 
interest in gold upon 271,000 dollars deposited in the 
Treasury, and to issue notes to the value of 243,900 
dollars. This must have required a little ' financing.' 
Our host was of opinion that England had acted 
foolishly in not backing the Confederates, in order to 
split up the great power of the United States ; and 
that Louis Napoleon had made a wise move towards 
helping them, in his Mexican expedition, although it 
had not turned out prosperously. 

Jan. 24, '67, Thursday. 
We made another long stride south to-day. At- 
lanta to West Point is 87 miles ; West Point to 


Montgomery 88 ; Montgomery to Mobile, where we 
arrived on Friday at 2.30 p. m., 126 miles. Total 301 

In the matter of cultivation and clearing, Georgia 
is the best of the States we have seen. We passed 
through cotton-fields great part of our journey. Con- 
versation ran mostly on cotton. The soil of Georgia 
is spoken of as exhausted, in comparison with that of 
Texas or Missouri, which is hardly to be wondered 
at, as wheat, maize, and cotton are said to be the 
usual rotation of crops. The soil, judging by the 
occasional sections in the railway cuttings, is a deep 
friable decomposed red sand-stone. The strata of the 
red sand-rock are often curiously folded and un- 
dulated, and streaked with white veins, in appearance 
like fuller's earth. 

The land ought to be in preparation now for 
sowing the cotton ; but owing to the scarcity of 
labour, we see little ploughing going on. Cotton 
is very sensitive to frost ; it is therefore sown as late 
as possible, even in March. If the young plants are 
frost-bitten, there is an immediate second sowing. 
One of my fellow-passengers thinks that, if you pro- 
cure seed of the long-stapled Sea-island cotton, and 
sow it in the uplands, where the cotton produced is 
of short staple, the quality of the short-stapled upland 
Georgia cotton can be improved. But others are 
of opinion that the shortness of the fibre is a result 

Cotton Cultivation. 135 

of the soil, and not to be amended by a change of 
the seed. The seed is put in chiefly by hand, in 
rows about two feet apart, guano being dropped in 
with the seed. The next great labour is the re- 
peated hoeings, to keep the crop free from weeds ; 
and this also is done chiefly by hand. The object 
now being to save labour, drills and horse-hoes will, 
no doubt, be much more largely used. The mule 
is much more used here than the horse. Kentucky 
breeds mules for the South, as Virginia used to 
breed negroes. You see my morals in these matters 
are getting corrupted by Southern communications. 
It was a curious fact, that in the alluvial hot rice 
districts, where the climate was similar to that of 
the regions from which their fathers came, the ne- 
groes did not multiply. By planting geometrically, 
a mule will be made to draw a horse-hoe, or small 
plough, both along and across the drills ; and pro- 
bably, as we have found in England in the case of 
wheat, (with us) the plants will grow all the stronger 
for being planted further apart. 

The part of cotton cultivation to which machinery 
seems to be inapplicable, is the picking. This goes 
on from September even to January. The cotton 
cannot be harvested all at once, like a grain crop ; 
but must be continually watched, and the fields con-' 
tinually picked over by intelligent fingers, as the 
seed-pods ripen. When picked, it is taken to the 


cotton-gin, is carded to get rid of the seeds, and 
squeezed into bales by the great ' Plantation Screw. 
Bales vary in weight. In Georgia a bale is sup- 
posed to average 500 lbs., and in Louisiana, 400 lbs. 
The difficulty of betting on the British hop crop is 
nothing compared with the difficulty of judging of 
the amount of the cotton crop of the South, inas- 
much as it takes so much longer time to harvest. 
Judges estimate the crop of 1866 at 2,250,000 bales ; 
but even when gathered, it takes a long time to find 
its way to market ; and is now draining down by 
rail and river to the cotton ports, to Charleston and 
Savanna, Mobile, New Orleans, and Galveston. Pro- 
bably the crop of 1867 will be smaller still than that 
of 1866, in consequence of the want of money and the 
derangement of the labour market ; and yet cotton 
is falling rapidly in price ; and this at a time when 
most of the Southern States are verging on bank- 
ruptcy, and their chances of future prosperity based 
upon their cotton crop. 

A very considerable amount of cotton is destroyed 
by fire on its way down the rivers. The huge steam- 
boats are piled and hung all round with cotton bales, 
often tied only with rope, and dry as tinder, under 
the burning sun. If a spark from funnel or cigar 
sets them alight, 110 human power can extinguish 
the fire ; it runs round the ship, from bale to bale, 
and the only thing to be done is to run her ashore, 

River Navigation. 137 

and get out of her as quickly as may be. They 
are taking to bind the bales now with iron-hooping, 
which prevents them from bursting open in a fire, 
and renders the compressed cotton nearly incom- 
bustible. There are three dangers in American river 
travelling ; fires from cotton going down stream ; 
snags, or sunken trees, which poke holes in the ship's 
bottom when the water is low ; and blowing up of 
boilers. If you go up the Mississippi at this season 
of the year, when there is plenty of water, you 
are in no danger from snags or cotton. Boilers 
will burst at all times ; but they too are said to 
burst chiefly in going down stream, when they 
have cargoes of bacon on board, and captains of 
a racing turn of mind. It is still a doubtful 
point which of the Southern States produced most 
cotton last year ; the doubt lies between Alabama 
and Texas. 

The data for forming a judgment as to the rela- 
tive productiveness of free and slave labour are as 
yet very imperfect. One of my fellow-passengers 
put it thus : — A slave, between the ages of ten and 
forty, costs on an average 750 dollars, and was good 
for work on an average for ten years. The usual 
planter's calculation was, that a slave's keep cost 
100 dollars a-year ; and that his labour ought to 
produce annually five bales of cotton. This, be it 
remembered, was in the days of good crops ; while 


in the only year in which experience has been had 
as yet of free labour, the season has been unusually 
bad. On the other hand, as regards the freedman ; 
wages in Georgia and Alabama range from 10 to 
15 dollars per month, and in Mississippi and Texas 
from 20 to 25 dollars per month ; let us take them 
at an average of 15 dollars per month. The freed- 
man's average production this last year is said to 
have been about three bales per man ; but it may 
be expected that in future years, when the market 
is more settled, and labour contracts are on a more 
satisfactory footing, free labour will be much more 
productive. At present the two accounts stand 
thus : — 

Slave — Ten Years. ($0 Dollar* per Bale.) 

Cost ... ... ... 750 

Interest on cost for ten 

years at ten per cent. 750 
Keep for ten years at 100 

dollars a-year ... i ooo 


Production for ten years, 
at five bales a-year = 
Fifty bales at 50 dol- 
lars per bale ... 2500 


Freedman — One Year. (60 Dollars per Bale.) 

Wages for one year at 
15 dollars per month 


Production for one year 
= Three bales at 60 
dollars per bale ... 180 

In this no allowance is made for the expenditure 
upon the slave in infancy or illness or old age, 

Free Labour v. Slave. 139 

to the advantage of the employer of free labour 
at the present rate of wages, and goes to prove 
that the freedman is at the present rate underpaid, 
not being paid sufficient (according to the old scale 
of living befitting a slave) to allow him to provide 
for illness, and old age, and the bringing up of his 
children. If this be so, the prospect is not good 
for the planter, as with a falling market his scale 
of wages will have to rise. 

In the night we passed a part of the forest in 
which the farmer was burning the dead trees on 
his clearing. The effect by night was very beauti- 
ful ; the tall dead trunks are all aglow and sparkling 
from top to root. The ordinary mode of clearing 
forest land is after this fashion : — You cut what 
timber you require for log-hut and fences. But 
labour is precious ; and for the rest, you destroy it 
in the way which gives you least trouble. Each 
tree is notched round the foot with an axe. In from 
two to three years the branches and bark have fallen 
off, and the timber is rotten nearly to the heart. 
Then fire is set to the root, and the tree blazes from 
butt to bough until reduced to ashes. The hard 
stumps are not sufficiently decayed for burning until 
two or three more years have passed ; but, in the 
meantime, the farmer ploughs tortuously in and out 
among the stumps, and raises crops from the soil. 
Machines have been invented in prosperous parts 


of the States, which extract the old stumps as dentists 
take out decayed teeth. 

Jan. 25, '6j, Friday. 

Sat down next to a fellow-passenger on his way 
home to Texas. As we advanced, the forest became 
more and more densely filled with cane-brake and 
undergrowth of evergreens. Here and there mag- 
nolias appeared almost of the size of forest trees. 
' It is a sign of a mighty poor soil/ said my friend, 
' where magnolias grow. You find them mostly on 
sandy bluffs, but not far from water/ Montgomery 
to Mobile by rail is 126 miles; by steamboat and 
the Alabama river it is 333. We decided in favour 
of the rail, preferring speed to ease and river 
scenery ; and congratulated ourselves upon our de- 
cision, as to-day we had a great amount of heavy, 
soft, warm spring rain. 

At several of the stations we passed this morning 
were assembled groups of migratory negro families, 
working their way westward, their luggage consisting 
generally of a bed rolled up, a bundle, and half a 
barrel of potatoes. The first effect of freedom is a 
great feeling of restlessness, a desire to leave the old 
home and see the world. Thirty-seven thousand ne- 
groes, according to newspaper estimates, have left 
South Carolina already, travelling west. The meaning 
of the Indian name Alabama is said to be 'Here we 

Migration of Negroes. 141 

rest,' hut the migratory negro still moves on westward 
towards Mississippi and Texas. * The quicker he moves, 
the better,' say the Southern newspapers ; * we must 
have white labour now/ How are they to get it % 
It is too much to expect of the Northern Government 
that they will divert emigration and cotton from 
the North in order to help the South ; but what 
seems to be wanted is a line of steamers running from 
the South to the European ports of emigration, say 
from Charleston and Savanna to Liverpool and Ham- 
burgh. These would carry the cotton direct to 
Europe, instead of its passing through the hands of 
the New York brokers, and would return with emi- 
grants direct to the South, instead of their landing 
at New York and going off to the West. Such a line 
of steamers will never be started except by a Govern- 
ment subsidy. American speculators will speculate 
in anything except lines of steamers. But will emi- 
grants come merely to supply an under-stocked 
labour-market, in a land of bankrupt landlords ? To 
attract emigrants, you must subdivide plantations, 
and offer land for sale. The impoverished emigrant, 
when he lands in America, may profess himself a 
radical ; but his desire is to possess land, and at 
heart he is simply an unbloated aristocrat without 
the slightest intention of working for anybody ex- 
cept himself. He has had enough experience of 
that ; his object is to obtain land of his own. 


The idea seems to be spreading that it would be 
well if greater facilities could be established for edu- 
cation in the South, instead of having to seek it in 
the New England States. The money made in the 
South used to be spent in the North ; for which reason, 
among many others, the South has always been short 
of the money requisite for the development of her 
railroads and manufactures. And one good reason 
for going North was to get your children educated, 
although there were a certain amount of good schools 
in the South for the higher class of education. They 
are talking now of establishing a University in some 
healthy upland position in Alabama, and there is 
a notice in to-day's paper of a meeting to be held at 
Galveston, to consider the best position for a Texas 
State University. If there were money enough in 
the South to ensure liberal payment, it would not be 
a bad speculation for men well recommended from 
the English Universities to open colleges in these 
parts. I think they would be very well received. 

Texas, according to my fellow-passenger, is the 
most prosperous State in the South. At the be- 
ginning of last year, Galveston, its chief port, con- 
tained 8,000 inhabitants ; and at the present time 
contains 20,000 ; and the rest of the State is supposed 
to have nearly doubled its population in the course 
of the year. For emigrants the fare from Liverpool 
to Galveston is about 40 dollars gold, or £9. My 

Southern Schools. 143 

informant keeps two English maid-servants, and pays 
them each 25 dollars gold, or £5 a month. 

We stopped to dine at a depot, or station in the 
woods, where the beef collops, judging by their shape 
and hardness, must have been cut off the animal 
with an axe. Gas not being at hand, in front of the 
station, where the platform should have been, were 
two rough tables covered with about three inches of 
earth, on which at night they lit fires of pine knots. 
As we drew towards the end of our journey, the de- 
pots were defended by stockades against raiders from 
Pensacola, where during the war the North held pos- 
session of the navy yard. 

At Blakesley the railway came to a most abrupt 
and unexpected end on the bank of the Alabama 
river, and we were shipped on board a great white 
steamboat, the first of the American river steamboats 
we have seen. Ours, being a comparatively small 
boat, was a huge flat barge, on which was erected 
only a one-storied block of buildings. On the ground 
floor we carried the engine, the fire-wood, cotton and 
sugar, horses and pigs, and the negroes. The upper 
story is a long saloon running the length of the 
vessel, with a row of cabins containing berths, opening 
out of the saloon on either side. At each end and on 
either side of this upper story is a veranda running 
round, as on the houses on land. Here you sit and 
smoke, while the banks glide past you, watching the 

144 MOBILE. 

panorama. On each side an enormous paddle-box, 
reaching from the topmost attic to the surface of the 
water ; and from side to side of each paddle-box the 
name of the ship, written in enormous letters. 

We had to wait to take hi the luggage, and more 
wood for the engine ; and stood in the gallery lazily 
watching the negroes work. You can form no idea of 
the perfect mellowness of a happy negro's laughter. 
The yah-yah of the Ethiopian Serenader is derived 
from it, but gives no idea of it. Their voices singing 
hymns are very melodious. Dinah will be coming 
out some day soon as Prima Donna at the Opera. 
A gentleman of colour, working on one of the boats, 
was asked the other day whether he was best off now 
or before he was free. He scratched his wool and 
said, 'Wall, when I tumbled overboard before, the 
captain he stopped the ship, and put back and picked 
me up ; and they gave me a glass of hot whisky and 
water ; and then they gave me twenty lashes for fall- 
ing overboard. But now if I tumble overboard, the 
captain he'd say, What's dat % oh ! only dat dam nigger 
— go ahead.' The childish trustful look of the young 
darkey is very touching. Most of the negroes look 
you very straight in the face. I cannot imagine any 
one ill using them. 

Just at the mouth of he river, coming out into 
Mobile Bay, we scattered a flock of some hundreds of 
wild ducks ; this provoked a shot or two from those 

The 'ShelUoad: 145 

who wanted to empty their revolvers ; and disclosed 
the fact that a fair proportion of the junior pas- 
sengers carried arms. Landed at 2.30 p.m. at Mobile, 
upon a wharf covered with huge cotton-bales ; and 
went to the Battle House Hotel. 

Jan. 26, '6j, Saturday. 

Mobile seems to have suffered little from the war, 
except by impoverishment and stagnation of trade. 
It was one of the last places which surrendered to 
the North. Admiral Farragut defeated the Con- 
federate gun-boats in Mobile Bay, and took the town 
without its passing through the ordeal of either 
burning or bombardment. The great devastation was 
committed by the inhabitants themselves, who now 
lament bitterly that, in clearing the ground for for- 
tifications which were never used, they cut down the 
whole of the fine evergreen oaks and magnolias 
which formerly shaded the suburbs. 

We were driven to-day along the 'Shell-road,' 
which skirts the western side of the bay. Mobile 
oysters are beautiful when fried, and after death the 
shells are made into the smoothest of turnpike roads. 
Before the war this road ran through a wood of 
magnificent magnolias, which when in blossom used 
to fill the air with perfume. The part of the grove 
next to the town is all swept away, the trees which 
shaded the citizens' summer evening drive have been 


146 MOBILE. 

felled. Camellias grow here in the gardens, ten feet 
high; and roses and jonquils are in blossom. Palmet- 
toes grow along the shore, and one house in Govern- 
ment Street had an orange-tree growing on the turf, 
covered with large dark-red oranges. Several of the 
best houses in Government Street are said to be 
tenanted by the former owners of blockade-runners ; 
a trade in which the Jews largely embarked. 

Jan. 27, '6j, Sunday. 

We went to a church where the bonnets were 
fashionable and the preacher apparently orthodox. 
I imagine that in Mobile more attention is paid to 
bonnets than to doctrine ; but have collected very 
little evidence on the point. I fancy we notice here 
the influence of the French colony of New Orleans, 
of whom Mr. Davis said to F., ' Commerce and 
government have both passed away into American 
hands, but still you will find them controlling the 
fashions and the amusements.' Mobile bonnets 
suggest New Orleans. 

Jan. 28, '67, Monday. 

Paid ten dollars each for our passage to New 
Orleans, 182 miles, and sailed at 2.30 p.m., by steam- 
ship Mary. We drew a long red line down Mobile 
Bay, stirring the sand up with our paddles (vessels 
drawing more than ten feet of water cannot get up 

Down the Bay. 147 

to the town), and picked our way carefully through 
two lines of great piles which were driven down 
across the harbour-mouth, to make things unpleasant 
for Admiral Farragut. 

There seem to be the same sea-gulls in all parts of 
the world. I imagine they fly from shore to shore of 
Pacific or Atlantic. The flock that hovered over our 
stern this evening, and fought like chickens for the 
crumbs shaken from the table-cloths, looked like the 
identical birds which escorted us out of Queenstown 
Harbour, and were found again at Sandy Hook waiting 
to welcome us to New York. As it grew dusk, great 
loons, looking like geese with the heads of pelicans, 
passed across our bows two and two, gliding as in 
a dream, almost touching the water, without move- 
ment of their wings. 

Passed eighteen large vessels waiting for cargoes of 
cotton, and one which had completed her loading two 
days ago, and since that time had been burned to the 
water's edge. Passed Fort Gaines and Fort Morgan, 
one on each side the harbour mouth ; and out into the 
Gulf of Mexico, on which the only ripple was that 
made by our own paddle-wheels. It was dark foggy 
night by the time we lost sight of the light-house 
at the mouth of Mobile Bay. Woke up at midnight 
to find ourselves at the railway pier on the bank of 
Lake Pont Chartrain. Lake Pont Chartrain is not 
strictly a lake, but an inlet of the sea ; so the steam- 

L 2 


boat is able to enter it and deposit you in rear of the 
city. A railroad running through the swamps 
brought us in half an hour from the steam-boat pier 
into the suburbs ; and an early cabman pounced upon 
us in the grey of the morning, and deposited us, 
sleepy and stupid, at the door of the Saint Charles 
Hotel, New Orleans. 

Jan. 29, '6j, Tuesday. 

New Orleans is called ' the Crescent City,' from its 
curving round a bend of the Mississippi. It contains 
about 200,000 inhabitants, and before the war was 
the chief market of the world for cotton, and the 
chief market of the Uuited States for sugar. During 
the war, the market of New Orleans was closed. The 
year before the war, Louisiana could show 1,292 plan- 
tations under cultivation, producing 500,000 hogs- 
heads of sugar. In 1864 there were but 180 plan- 
tations at work, and their production of sugar was 
but 6,750 hogsheads. Nine-tenths of the sugar-cane 
raised in the U. S. is grown in Louisiana. Before 
the war, Cuba sent her sugars to New Orleans to be 
sold ; at present they go to New York. The natural 
market is beginning now, as the Americans say, to 
' recuperate ;' and our walk on the Levee was very 

The Mississippi, the great ' Father of Waters,' does 
not surprise you by its breadth. It does not look 

The Levee. 149 

much wider than the Thames at Greenwich ; but the 
turbid yellow stream is of enormous depth, and runs 
at the rate of some three miles an hour, with a re- 
sistless volume of water. The crescent bank is lined 
with a row of the great steamboats, which can run in 
ordinary times from the Gulf of Mexico to the great 
falls on the Upper Missouri, a distance of 3,900 miles. 
We sat on the edge of the quay, looking down into 
a fruit-boat ; she was ballasted with a golden ground- 
work of oranges ; at one end was a heap of pine- 
apples, and at the other a great pile of bunches of 
bananas, some green, some bright yellow, some brown 
like bunches of sausages. We selected two ripe 
oranges, which were growing on a little twig with 
a dark green leaf attached, and ate them because 
they looked so pretty ; and then regaled ourselves 
with ripe bananas, which have a mingled flavour of 
figs, pine-apples, and pomatum. They are very plea- 
sant to eat when you begin, but when you have eaten 
too many, you can taste the pomatum distinctly. The 
next boat to the fruit-boat was full of shells from the 
Gulf, spread out to catch the eyes of inland folk who 
might like to take some back to their friends a thou- 
sand miles up the yellow river. Then we went on 
board the ' Robert E. Lee,' a new steamer, considered 
one of the largest and handsomest on the Mississippi. 
I paced the length of her saloon carefully. It was 
76 yards from end to end, handsomely fitted with 


mirrors and decorated in white and gold, opening at 
each end on the gallery which runs all round the 

Negroes on the Levee swarm like black ants, 
dragging bales of cotton, rolling hogsheads of sugar, 
and trotting to and fro from the steamers, carrying 
rice and Indian corn in little square bags, from which 
the grains drop as they move. The quay is floored 
with planks raised on piles. Through the interstices 
of the planks the grain drops down. Under the 
Levee must be the paradise of rats ; it is also fre- 
quented by thieves. The art of the Levee thief is to 
cut out a plank under a stack of costly goods above, 
coffee for instance, and to abstract the core of the 
pile, leaving the stack apparently intact. The quay 
is gay with little flags in all directions ; each cargo 
has to be sorted as it is unloaded, and the goods of 
one owner are brought together at the red flag, and 
those of another at the yellow, and so forth, A negro 
of education stands with a stick in his hand at the 
plank by which the black porters come on shore, reads 
the marks on the sack, and names the flag at which 
the load is to be stacked. He touches each sack as it 
passes with his stick, and if one escapes him, he looks 
as unhappy as Dr. Johnson when he had missed a post. 
Here is a heap of spades, there a pile of ploughs 
and plantation-hoes and carts and waggons, come 
down from some manufactory in the north : railway 

Mechanics Hall. 151 

iron, and barrels of pork, barrels of flour, big bales of 
cotton and little bags of Indian corn, big barrels 
of sugar and small barrels of molasses, and barrels 
without end. Acres of bales, and acres of barrels. 
Nobody seems to care about warehousing his goods. 
I suppose in this climate they do not suffer from being 
left in the open air. In and out through the stacks 
and bales come negresses with bright handkerchiefs 
round their heads, carrying baskets and basins con- 
taining dinners for the black ants, terrible abomina- 
tions of dried and fried meats and fishes, which had 
a smell of Drury Lane or Wych Street about them. 

Went to the ' Mechanics' Hall/ a large brick build- 
ing, where, on the 30 th of July last, the small 
minority of Union men in the State were injudicious 
or judicious enough (for much political capital has 
been made out of the riot) to hold a meeting. 
General Sheridan was away, and the city police were 
no friends to the convention. A crowd of negroes 
assembled in the street round the building, in which 
their Union friends had met. The irritated citizens 
of New Orleans assembled also, fired upon the 
negroes in the street, broke into the hall, and turned 
the convention, after stout resistance, out of the 
windows. After the hall had been sacked, the vic- 
torious mob amused itself by murdering negroes up 
and down the city ; standing on the side- walls and 
shooting at them as they drove past in their carts. It 


was a savage outbreak, showing the bitterness with 
which some of the Southerners regard the negro race 
as a chief cause of their misfortunes. 

General Sheridan puts the number of killed at 
about 40, and the wounded at about 270. We were 
shown over the hall by a negro who had been in the 
building at the time the rioters broke in. He con- 
cealed himself under a table, but somebody espied 
him and caught him a crack on the head with a 
'slung-shot' — a weapon of the same class as the stone 
in the toe of a stocking sometimes used in Irish 
rows, a handy thing to hit round a corner with ; for- 
tunately among gentlemen of colour the head is not 
a vital part ; then he was thrust into the street with 
the blood running down his face, and was further mal- 
treated before he made his escape. According to his 
account, there were men shot dead in every story 
of the building. AU the chairs in the large hall 
were smashed to splinters in the fight. And when 
he was being taken away to the hospital the pave- 
ments on both sides of the street in front of the 
building were strewn with dead and wounded men. 
We noticed on walls and windows between the front 
door and the entrance to the hall the marks of about 
a dozen pistol shots. 

Called with a letter of introduction upon General 
Beauregard, now manager of the New Orleans and 
Ohio Railway, but unfortunately the General was 

Fowler's Steam-plough. 153 

somewhere up the line, and though we called more 
than once afterwards, he did not return while we 
were there. It seems strange to find famous generals, 
like Lee and Beauregard, turning into managers of 
colleges and railways ; but an American general is 
much more easily made into a civilian, than a civilian 
is into a general. Called also upon our hospitable 
banker Mr. Forstal, to whom we are indebted for 
innumerable kindnesses. 

Went off by car to the Mechanics' and Agricul- 
tural Fair Exhibition to see Fowler's steam-plough 
exhibited. This is interesting at the present time ; 
it being a question of importance how far machinery 
can be made to supplement the want of negro labour. 
Bankers from Chicago, and speculators from New 
York, and Northern men who served under General 
Banks and General Butler, and saw the pleasantness 
of the land, have been buying up plantations in 
Louisiana at very low prices, and are beginning to 
be desperate at getting no labour to cultivate them ; 
they have even been talking of introducing coolie 
labour from China. It was one of Fowlers large 
ploughs drawn by two 14- horse -power engines, 
one at each end of the field, warranted with four 
ploughs to plough ten acres a day, or an acre 
an hour, one foot deep ; or with the cultivator 
of seven tynes, to break up two acres an hour 
of fourteen inches deep. The plough did its work 


well ; but the objections taken to it by an ob- 
structive agriculturist near, were these : — First, its 
enormous price, £1,645 for the two engines, plough, 
and cultivator, delivered in England, with carriage 
and 500 dollars duty to pay on importation ; then 
all the estates in Louisiana are intersected by deep 
ditches, crossed by slight wooden bridges, and you 
cannot introduce the engines without rebuilding all 
your bridges. Again, deep ploughing is of no use 
for cotton. Moreover, on a plantation where sugar 
is grown, you must keep a certain number of mules, 
even when not ploughing, to draw wood for the 
engine and cane from the field, and for general work, 
and if you plough by steam your mules will all be 
idle when they might do the ploughing ; and, lastly, 
even in the sugar lands of Louisiana there are a 
large number of old stumps left in the ground. 

The exhibitor told him of the success of the 
steam-plough in Cuba ; and how, when the Southern 
cotton -markets were closed, the Viceroy of Egypt 
had sent Mr. Fowler an order for 200 steam-ploughs 
to be delivered in half a year ; and how this was 
found to be impossible with the then existing plant 
and machinery; and how the Viceroy had im- 
mediately remitted the money necessary to rebuild 
the premises, but it was all of no avail. It is not 
easy in this land to find a planter now who has 
got £1,645 to spend upon a plough. Had negro 

General Sheridan. 155 

emancipation been adopted peacefully, Mr. Fowler 
would probably have sold many more ploughs in 
Louisiana than even the Viceroy has ordered. 

Jan. 30, '67, Wednesday. 

We called to-day upon General Sheridan) now in 
military command of the 'Department of the Gulf/ 
which embraces the states of Florida, Louisiana, and 
Texas. His head -quarters are at New Orleans. 
General Sheridan is short of stature, and a light 
weight for the saddle, no disadvantage for a cavalry 
officer. Exposure to sun and weather in campaign- 
ing has made its mark upon him ; but he is care- 
ful in his dress, and stepped out of a well-appointed 
carriage drawn by two fine horses. He mentioned 
that before the war he had lived nine years among 
the Indians, had gone over most of the Indian fron- 
tier, and learnt to speak three Indian dialects. This 
was no bad training for the work he afterwards 
had to do ; it had given him the art of travelling 
by landmarks and carrying the geography of the 
country in his head. In his opinion, the Indians 
were 'bound to be exterminated/ because no chas- 
tisement or evidence could convince them that the 
white man was too strong for them. The white 
man's statements were not credited ; and when 
Indian embassies returned from Washington, and 
told their tribes of the strength and power of the 


pale faces, they were set down from that time 
forth as liars, and not believed. Yet the imagi- 
nation of the Indians is strong enough. He spoke 
of the power exercised by their ' medicine men/ who 
are believed to be able to kill or cure at will, accord- 
ing as they may choose to curse or bless ; and the 
imagination of their victims is so strong, that when 
an Indian is convinced that he is going to die on a 
certain day, he does it. ' I have known them name 
the day on which they were bound to die, and when 
the day came, they would sit down and die " right 
off" — strong men without apparent disease. I used to 
laugh at them, and tell them to send the doctors to 
kill me ; their answer was, " You are not an Indian, 
but another sort of man." It is impossible to civilize 
them ; they are bound to be exterminated : they be- 
lieve in the entire superiority of the Indian race to 
the white. They say, " that will do very well for the 
white man ;" and " you are not an Indian, but another 
sort of man f and that accounts for all tilings which 
they do not comprehend. We shall very likely have 
a war with them soon, as we are crowding them now. 
They are brave enough, and will fight it out to the 
last man.' He said, he himself was pining to go out 
West again. 

The General, as you may suppose, has a great 
belief in the powers of cavalry. The numbers of 
the cavalry under his command was very much 

General Sheridan. 157 

exaggerated ; he never had at any one time a larger 
force in the field than 11,000 sabres. In skirmish- 
ing, his troopers used to fight after the manner of 
our dragoons, three men used to dismount and ad- 
vance, and the fourth remain holding the four 
horses. Sometimes he had used half the force as 
dismounted skirmishers, keeping the other half as 
mounted reserves ; ' But I never would dismount the 
men in a country where they could fight on horse- 
back. I prefer to use the sabre.' Some modification 
of the Spencer rifle must be adopted for the infantry. 
As for rifles, the Henry will not do, because the 
'magazine' is too much exposed, and the soldier can- 
not keep it clean and free from rust in wet weather, 
and the long spiral spring gets weak in time. The 
infantry will have to be armed with the Spencer. 
' In our country, guns are of little use with cavalry, 
except that the sound of them frightens raw troops. 
They are a great incumbrance in marching, and in 
fighting. I have sometimes been only able to use two 
or three guns ; and perhaps one-half of the cavalry 
could not be moved, because the guns had to be 
covered lest the enemy should take them. At the be- 
ginning of one year I had seventy-two guns attached 
to my three divisions of cavalry, divided into six-gun 
batteries ; then I made them into batteries of four 
guns each ; and by the end of the year I had sent 
every one of the guns to the rear except six, as being 


a useless encumbrance. In a general way we came to 
consider that one gun was equal to one Minie rifle 
and no more. Before the end of the war we had 
taken every gun opposed to us. The men never 
hesitated about riding for the enemy's batteries ; they 
used to say, " Now let us have a go for the guns/' ' 

In the afternoon we went up to the Metairie 
racecourse (pronounced Metary), hoping to see a 
trotting-match, but these came off on Fridays and 
Sundays. The course is small and circular, four 
times make a mile : it is a soft roadway, no turf 
being to be had. The straight piece of road be- 
tween the town and the Metairie is the favourite 
exercise-ground and show-off place for the trotters; 
and we saw some wonderful horses on our way back, 
making their time. Two minutes and forty seconds 
is the least time in which a match horse is expected 
to do his mile, and ' a regular 2 "40 ' is a slang phrase 
expressive of anything ' fast ' all through the States. 
The splendid action and enormous stride of the 
hind-quarters of some of these American trotters 
astonished me. The horses of new Orleans have 
rather a good time of it. They are to the mules 
what the white man was to the negro — they do the 
trotting matches, draw the carriages, and carry the 
gentlemen, while their servants the mules do all the 
hard work, draw the carts, and do the ploughing and 
field work. 

Creole Society. 159 

In the evening we went to a Creole party ; but do 
not suppose there was any black blood in the room, 
nothing was spoken but French, the toilettes were 
Parisian, and the lady of the house w s not unlike 
the Empress Eugenie. ' Creole ' has a very different 
meaning here from that which we give it. A Creole 
of Louisiana is one who traces back through one 
parent or another to the colonists ; and the colonists 
were those who dwelt in the land at the time 
Louisiana was sold by France to the United States 
in 1803. Creole society holds itself as distinct from 
all that comes from the North, as the old families in 
Virginia did. They have pedigrees and traditions 
of ancestors, and before the war had enormous 
wealth. They took their part in the struggle ; 
Beauregard was one of their representatives, and 
they have lost with the rest. You may imagine 
how such ladies with Parisian tongues could vex 
the soul of a Butler. 

The French element seems to keep itself very dis- 
tinct. The suburbs or outer part of the city, 'la 
ville/ are composed of all nations ; but in the centre 
is the old French town, a square, with one side 
facing the river, and the other three sides bounded 
by Boulvarts (which I spell with a t, because the 
Parisians have taken to doing so) planted with trees, 
called Bue de TEsplanade, Bue des Bamparts, and 
Canal Street. In the French market you find old 


women selling vegetables who cannot speak a word 
of any language but French. And French is under- 
stood, if not spoken, in all parts of the State. They 
build their tombs and plant their cemeteries in imi- 
tation of Pere la Chaise. It is supposed that Louis 
Napoleon had an eye to this French bond of union 
with the Southern States when he established a 
French protectorate in Mexico. 

When we returned from our dance, I found that 
while I was writing the first part of this letter in my 
bedroom, we had missed being present at a free fight 
in the hall of the hotel. The halls of these huge 
hotels (this one is said to make up nearer 1,000 
than 700 beds) in an evening are the lounging-p laces 
of all the loafing strangers and idle men about town. 
Two men quarrelled about a gambling debt. There 
is a saying in the South, that if a man has three 
chimneys to his house he is a judge, if two, a 
colonel. One bore the title of judge, the other that 
of colonel ; the judge kept a gambling-house, and the 
colonel had introduced a friend who had passed a 
bad 1,000 dollar bill. One poured forth torrents of 
abuse, the other pushed him away ; the push was re- 
turned by a blow with a dagger ; upon which the 
man who had been stabbed drew his revolver, and 
fired three shots one after the other, each a mortal 
wound. The dagger was a remarkable one, with a 
cross handle like a corkscrew, whence they are called 

' 7" Daggers. 161 

E T/ or ' cotton-hook ' daggers. The man who stabs 
with one appears to strike only with his unarmed 
fist, the thin sharp blade coming out between his 
fingers. You may conclude, I think, that the man 
who carries a T dagger is not opposed on principle to 

Society at large seems to think that neither of the 
combatants will be much lamented, but the stabbed 
man means to recover. He is said to have killed 
more than one man before in the same style. A 
large proportion of the men here carry arms ; you 
see trousers hanging up in the tailors' shops with a 
pocket on the hip behind for knife or pistol under 
the skirt of the coat. If a man gets into an alterca- 
tion, let him keep his hands from under his coat-tails, 
or the chances are that he will get shot, the pre- 
sumption being that he is feeling for his revolver. 
To put your hand behind you is equivalent to striking 
the first blow in an English row ; and many an un- 
armed man has been shot for doing it. The argu- 
ment is strong for carrying arms in a country where 
the majority go armed, but stronger still for putting 
a forcible end to the custom altogether. 

Feb. i, '67, Friday. 
I do not remember that I did anything all morning, 
except make the two following reflections on cos- 
tume • first, that inasmuch as a red flannel shirt is a 



common dress among sailors in Southern ships, the 
chances are, that when Garibaldi adopted it, he did 
not invent a new uniform, but wore his old clothes. 
Second reflection — The bonnet of the Sceurs de Cha- 
ritS in England looks very ridiculous ; but here it 
is only a modification of the great white head-dresses 
of the common people. The ridiculousness of the 
dress of a religious order in England may be a sign 
that it is spread over the Tropics. 

In the evening we started in a steamboat to San 
Jaques, about sixty miles up the Mississippi, to visit 
the sugar-plantation of some relations of Mr. Forstal's. 
We started at the same moment with another steam- 
boat, and I thought we were going to race in ortho- 
dox Mississippi style ; but luckily our captain was 
not in the humour for sitting on the safety-valve ; 
and, after a spurt, we considered ourselves beaten, 
and proceeded leisurely along, dodging from one 
bank to the other to pick up passengers. We were 
boarded at one landing-place by a herd of cows, who 
came down the bank with great reluctance, and at last 
came in with a stampede. The process of landing 
passengers at night is highly picturesque. A tall 
iron cresset, filled with blazing pine-knots, is stuck 
in the side of the ship, and a long plank landing- 
stage thrust out towards the land by some ten ne- 
groes, with great clamour and grunting. Then the 
traveller, with his carpet-bag in his hand, walks 

Plantation on the Mississippi. 163 

the plank into outer darkness ; and if you hear a 
splash and a struggle it means that the bank is 
rather muddy just there. We had ten mules with 
us, as part of our luggage, destined for the planta- 
tion. Landed by the plank at 4.30 a.m., and were 
driven up to the house ; leaving the captain to get 
the mules on shore as best he could. 

Feb. 2, '6j, Saturday. 

Was woke by a most attentive black butler in- 
sinuating a small cup of coffee and chasse under 
my mosquito curtains. This house is a fine speci- 
men of a planter's residence. It is in form a Grecian 
temple, the colonnade surrounding a large two-storied 
house, with verandas to each story, about fourteen 
feet wide, running entirely round, between the 
columns and the walls of the house. A clear space 
of gravel, about forty feet in width, runs round 
it ; and, outside the gravel, the house is surrounded 
by a row of magnolia-trees, which afford a shade 
at all seasons of the year ; and shade is pleasant 
here at almost all seasons. Although it is not re- 
quired just now, the dining-room is fitted for a 
punkah-fan to swing from the ceiling, as in India. 
Outside the magnolias is a formal garden, once trim, 
filled with clipped trees of names unknown to me, 
and orange-trees bearing their fruit. The kitchen 
and offices, and negroes' lodgings, form a number of 

m 2 


small temples among the trees, ranged in a semi- 
circle facing the front of the house. The offices are 
somewhat dilapidated, and the grounds somewhat 
overrun with weeds. During the war the family 
had several times to take to the woods, and leave 
house and furniture to the mercy of the Northern 
soldiers ; and the negroes soon acquired the arts of 
thieving and destroying. I met a gentleman once, 
whose house was occupied by soldiers in this way for 
several days. When the family fled, they had no time 
to think of removing papers. When they came back, 
of course all boxes and desks had been broken open. 
In one gentleman's desk the soldiers had found a 
series of letters from a lady, and in that lady's desk 
they had discovered the corresponding series of letters 
from that gentleman ; and the two sets of letters had 
been read together and largely annotated. As the 
victim remarked, ' They were pretty well posted up 
about his courtship.' 

The geography and arrangement of Louisiana is 
very curious. No part of the State rises more than 
200 feet above the level of the Gulf of Mexico, and 
it is traversed in all directions by river-ways, the 
Mississippi, and its branches, called bayous. These 
bayous differ from the branches of ordinary rivers 
in this : they are a network of streams, and the Mis- 
sissippi generally runs into them, instead of water run- 
ning down them to fill the body of the main stream. 

Bayous. 165 

These streams and bayous are the highways tra- 
versed by the steamboats, by which communication 
is carried on, and all the produce conveyed to New 
Orleans. Each bank of the Mississippi, and each 
bank of each bayou, is cleared of forest to the depth 
of from a mile to a mile and a half from the river- 
bank (the bank of the great river is called ' la cote/ 
the coast), and these strips of land are divided, at 
right angles to the river, into plantations ; so that 
each plantation has a river frontage, and the great 
white houses of the planters stand facing the river 
about 300 yards back from the bank. 

Now you see the meaning of the struggle for the 
possession of the river mouths. When the iron-clad 
gunboats had once made their way in, they had the 
whole country at their mercy, and all the houses 
within range of their guns. They could land where 
they pleased, and plunder the houses of the rich 
Creole planters ; the women and children flying for 
refuge to the swampy forest at the back of each 
plantation. When the Confederate guerrillas fired 
upon the gunboats from the banks, the crews of the 
gunboats generally wreaked their vengeance upon 
the plantation from which they had been fired upon. 
With the exception of these lines of plantations 
upon either side of the river banks, the greater part 
of the country is uncleared swampy forest. The 
forest, abounding in deer and all kinds of game, is 


within a couple of miles of every house. Small black 
bears come up at night out of the woods and damage 
your crops of maize ; and you are liable to find alli- 
gators lying in your dry ditches. But the bears 
are shy, and run away when spoken to ; and the 
alligators are stupid, and take little notice of insults, 
and are not much more respected than frogs. Be- 
fore the war, the people of this part of the country 
must have been rolling in wealth ; they had their 
houses in New Orleans, and their houses on the 
* cote/ Now they are comparative^ poor. Mort- 
gagees are foreclosing every day ; and plantations 
selling for one -third their former prices. Planta- 
tions of 1,000 acres in cultivation are to be 
bought, with all the buildings on them, for 50,000 

We drove with Mr. Forstal, sen., along the levee 
to a plantation of his own about two miles off, where 
by the aid of Mr. Brook, his superintendent, a most 
energetic Cornish man, he is attempting to organize 
a system of black free labour. We found the ne- 
groes, men and women, all at work in the fields, 
planting the seed-cane. A trench about a foot deep 
is made by the plough ; and the canes, as thick 
as your wrist, cut into lengths of about three feet, 
with the ends slightly overlapping, are laid in length- 
ways in a double row. When the trenches have 
been earthed up, the young canes shoot up from 

Planting Sugar-cane. 167 

the joints at intervals of about four inches. You 
may sink a shaft here seventy feet deep through 
rich alluvial soil, before you reach the bed of sea 
shells, which marks the bottom of the old inlet of 
the Gulf of Mexico. In this soil the sugar-canes 
are almost seen to grow, two inches in a day ; and 
cane is grown year after year upon the same ground 
without any rotation of crops. 

The freedmen working on this plantation are re- 
ceiving for wages a dollar a day, subject to deduction 
if they do not do a whole day's work. Some planters 
are paying 20 dollars a month. The labourers are 
settled with at the end of each day ; not in cash, 
or they would never work the week out, but in 
printed tickets, red, green, yellow, and blue, repre- 
senting respectively 1 dollar, 50 cents, 25 cents, 
and 10 cents ; and these are cashed into money on 
the Saturday night. In a few days there will be 
a large grocery, or general store, established, at 
which these tickets will be taken at all times as 
money ; so that the freedmen need never be in 
difficulties, or have, as at present, a long way to go 
for their purchases. Each freedman has an acre of 
land at a nominal rent to cultivate for himself. 

For the cultivation of a large plantation, say one 
of 1,000 acres of arable land, which is rather above 
the average, 70 working negroes used to be re- 
quired, and 7 5 mules (there would have been about 

168 SA^ JAQUES. 

115 slaves, of whom about 45 would be sick or super- 
annuated). Of 700 acres planted with cane, 100 acres 
are set apart for seed-cane for next year. About 300 
acres used to be planted with Indian corn, producing 
about 30 barrels to the acre (the barrel containing 
about four cubic feet); this corn was required for 
the consumption of the slaves on the plantation 
under the old system ; but now of course the free 
labourer will have to provide food for himself. The 
planter's house and grounds, the sugar-house and 
offices, and the negroes' cottages and gardens, will 
occupy another 150 acres. Sugar is at the present 
time selling at New Orleans at 12 cents a pound; 
one acre of cane is calculated to produce a hogs- 
head of sugar, weighing 1,000 lbs. At present, 
therefore, the sugar from each acre ought to be 
worth 120 dollars; or, after deducting commis- 
sion, freight, and brokerage, amounting to 30 dollars 
a hogshead, and the Government tax of i-| cents 
per lb., equal to 15 dollars a hogshead, a net result 
of 70 dollars per acre. Further, each hogshead or 
barrel of sugar will produce 40 gallons of molasses 
worth 50 cents a gallon. So that, without consider- 
ing the corn, and taking the present prices of labour 
and of produce, and the former rates of produc- 
tion, it seems to me that a plantation worked 
with freedmen may produce the following balance- 
sheet ; and I have great doubt whether the most 

Freedmaris Labour. 


experienced of planters could produce any more re- 
liable statistics : — 


To wages of 70 ne- 

groes at 1 dollar a day, 

say 300 working clays 


10 per cent, wear and 

tear upon 30,000 dols. 

the cost of plant and 





Gross profit 




Sugar, 600 barrels at 70 

dollars 42,000 

Molasses, 24,000 gallons 

at 50 cents 1,200 

(Corn, 9,000 barrels.) 


The capital required for this would be, according to 
my estimate at the present time, — 

Purchase- money of a plantation of 1,000 acres, 

with building and machinery, requiring con- 
siderable outlay... ... ... ... ... 50,000 

Plant and mules ... ... ... ... ... 30,000 

Working capital ... ... ... ... ... 10,000 


Upon which 18,000 dollars would represent a 
profit of 20 per cent. 

The following figures, which I borrow from a letter 
addressed by Mr. Forstal to Mr. Commissioner Wells, 
will give some idea of the ruin brought on Louisiana 
by the war. When it began, there were 1,292 sugar 


estates at work, upon which 139,000 slaves, worth on 
an average 750 dollars each, were employed. Upon 
1,009 plantations the plant and machinery was con- 
sidered as worth, on an average, 50,000 dollars ; upon 
the other 283 plantations, the plant and machinery 
may be taken at 20,000 dollars. The stock and im- 
plements upon each of these 1,292 estates, consisting 
of horses and mules, cows, waggons, ploughs, seed- 
cane, and tools, were worth on an average 10,000 
dollars. The sugar-grower and his factor in New 
Orleans were in effect partners ; the j:>lanter's next 
year's crop was always pledged for advances made by 
the factor to enable him to get his crop in. The 
chief paper held by the New Orleans banks was fac- 
tors' notes, which circulated almost as currency. 
When General Butler's invading army entered the 
country, they emancipated all the slaves, and took 
away all the cattle, annihilating all the plantation 
labour at a blow. The whole sugar crop, which 
after every expense had been incurred, was just at 
its maturity, was entirely lost, and left to spoil upon 
the ground. The seed-cane rotted, or was not 
preserved. The whole system of credit collapsed, 
the banks all broke, and the factors' capital was 
swallowed up. After this, the Government im- 
posed a duty upon sugar of three cents per lb. 
This has since been reduced one -half, and is now 
one cent and a half per lb. 

Losses of Louisiana. Ill 
The losses of Louisiana may be stated thus : — 

Plant and machinery Dollars. 

Upon 1,009 plantations at 50,000 dolls. ... 50,450,000 

Upon 283 plantations at 20,000 dollars... 5,660,000 

Stock and implements upon 1,292 planta- 
tions at 10,000 dollars ... ... ... 12,920,000 

Slaves, 139,000 at 750 dollars .. .. 104,254,000 

Growing crops upon 1,292,000 acres at 20 

dollars an acre ... ... ... ... 25,840,000 


Or ... .£40,000,000 

On Sunday evening we returned by the same 
steamboat by which we had come, the G. M. Sharp, 
to New Orleans, gliding down the dark river with 
our lights and coloured lamps like a spectral Chinese 
junk, and reached the St. Charles Hotel about 3 a.m. 

Feb. 4, '67, Monday. 
In 1850 Mr. Forstal resided some time in Mexico, 
arranging some matters of finance for Messrs. Baring 
Brothers. He paid great attention at that time to 
Mexican politics, and was brought a good deal in 
contact with General Arista. He traces everything 
that is great and permanent in Mexican institutions 
to the mind of Cortez. It was natural at that time 
that an American should be taking stock curiously 
of all he saw ; as during the four preceding years 
one-third of the territory of the Bepublic of Mexico 
had been absorbed by the United States. Texas 
had been annexed in 1846, and New Mexico and 


Arizona in 1848. These last do not appear to have 
been any great loss to Mexico, as the Government 
was much too weak to coerce the tribes of savage 
Indians who overran them, and from the time of 
Cortez had resisted civilisation and restraint. Ac- 
cording to General Sherman's last report, New 
Mexico has up to the present time been a some- 
what costly acquisition to the United States. He 
assumes the present entire population not to exceed 
100,000 souls, living on ' a thin line of fields along 
the banks of the Rio Grande, liable at all times to be 
swept by the inroads of the nomade Indians that 
surround it/ and requiring a minimum force of 2,500 
United States troops, mostly cavalry, continually to 
protect them. ' During the twenty years since 
its acquisition this territory has cost the National 
Treasury full a hundred millions of dollars/ Texas 
having a coast line and more fertile lands, was an 
acquisition of a very different kind. It is doubtful 
still, whether the state of Texas did not last year 
produce more cotton than any state in the South. 

In 1850 the Mexican Government considered the 
population of their reduced territory to be 6,000,000, 
divided by Alamon in his work on Mexico, then 
published, into whites 1,200,000, Indians 2,400,000, 
and half-breeds 2,400,000. The Indians were repre- 
sented by General Arista as a peaceable and manage- 
able people, so long as they were left to their own 

Peonage in Mexico. 173 

customs and habits, which with the greater part 
of them have remained unchanged for centuries. 
Over all the territory of Mexico the Indians are 
the cultivators of the land, living by themselves in 
villages, ' pueblos/ selling their labour in advance to 
the large proprietors. As soon as they are under 
advances to the landowner, they become 'peons,' 
subject to the stringent laws regulating 'peonage ;' 
and until the mortgage on their labour is paid off, 
they are bound to the soil, and transferable with the 
property — slaves to all intents and purposes. They 
are indolent in the extreme, and except under compul- 
sion will do no more work than is necessary to sustain 
life ; so ' peons ' they invariably remain until death. 

The Mezticos, or half-bloods, are the most turbu- 
lent and unmanageable part of the population ; they 
stand between the Indians and the whites, related to 
both, and ally themselves first with one and then 
with the other. This conflict of races is the chief 
cause of revolution in Mexico. While Mexico was a 
colony, the power of Spain secured and maintained 
the preponderance of the Spanish element, and the 
half-bloods and Indians remained in quiet submission. 
When the independence of the country was pro- 
claimed, the white race without external support was 
unable to maintain its ascendancy over the rest ; and 
revolution, anarchy, and national bankruptcy com- 
menced, and have continued ever since. 


The Emperor of the French miscalculated the 
result of the civil war, but his move was appre- 
ciated by the South. The Southern newspapers 
generally expressed their sympathy with the cause 
of Maximilian ; and, according to General Sheridan, 
previous to the surrender, and in anticipation of the 
successful escape of Jefferson Davis, it had been con- 
templated to organize a column of 15,000 Confe- 
derates at Marshall, Texas, for the invasion of Mexico. 
This scheme failed, perhaps from the capture of 
Mr. Davis. But while the main scheme of sending 
the 15,000 men to Mexico failed, numerous bands, 
squads, and parties, numbering perhaps 3,000 or 
4,000 men, crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico. 

At the end of May, 1865, General Sheridan was 
appointed to the command of all the territory west 
of the Mississippi and south of the Arkansaw. He 
lost no time in occupying the line of the Eio Grande, 
the Mexican frontier, with a considerable force. This 
had the double effect of inspiriting the Republican 
party in Mexico, and of barring the passage of many 
Confederate soldiers who would probably have joined 
the fortunes of Maximilian. He also broke up a 
scheme of emigration to Cordova in Mexico, under 
the belief that it was only a pretext for the forma- 
tion of a Maximilian party, and prohibited the 
sailing of any emigrants to Mexico from Southern 

Bayou Gazelrna. 175 

We still read such accounts of the severity of 
winter in the North, that we mean to give up our 
proposed route northward by the Mississippi, San 
Louis, and Chicago, and to go instead to the 
Havanna. In the meanwhile we shall make an ex- 
pedition up the Bayou Tesch. The Tesch valley 
is called the garden of Louisiana; it is the richest 
part of the sugar districts, and had made a great 
impression upon General Sheridan, who spoke of it 
as well worth a visit. 

Feb. 7, '67, Thursday. 

The communications between New Orleans and the 
Havanna are so irregular, that we waited two days 
before we could hit upon a satisfactory vessel. 

Started at 8 a.m. by New Orleans, Opelousas, 
and Great Western Railway on our expedition up 
the Tesch, eighty miles by rail, and then seventy-two 
by steamboat up the Bayou, from Braschia City to 
New Iberia. Our railway journey lay through the 
swampy level forest, varied by an occasional plain of 
reeds, the home of innumerable wild-ducks. We 
crossed Bayou Gazelrna, 'ducks' river,' from which 
station they used before the war, in the season, to 
run a regular duck-truck every day, bringing from 
fifteen to twenty sacks of ducks to the New Orleans 

Passed Tigerville, which takes its name, I suppose, 


from the tiger of Louisiana (spotted, not striped), still 
sometimes found in these parts ; a beast measuring 
five feet from his nose to the root of his tale. The cou- 
gar, another wild cat of nearly the same size, is much 
more common, and destroys sheep, calves, and hogs, 
and will sometimes attack larger cattle. We passed 
at one stopping-place some Indian mounds, largely 
made up of oyster-shells, much of the nature of the 
' kitchen middens ' of European archaeologists. We 
English have eaten our oysters ; but on this coast 
they abound so plentifully as to assist the corallines 
in making reefs. The railway ends for the present 
at Berwick's Bay, the mouth of the Achafalaya 
River, a bayou which joins the Bed Biver just before 
it falls into the Mississippi. Here, according to the 
map, ought to stand Braschia City ; but there are at 
present only very slight traces of its future great- 
ness : and it appeared to me that Captain Kerr, the 
obliging station-master, an Englishman, who ex- 
tended a cordial hand to welcome a fellow-country- 
man, was wasting his talents in the wilderness. The 
fact that both the conductor of the train and the 
captain of the steamboat, on our journey to-day, had 
been well-to-do planters before the war, will give an 
idea of the blow this country has received. The 
steamboat Anna E., Captain Trinidad, took us two 
miles up the Achafalaya and then turned westward 
into the Bayou Tesch. 

Tesch Valley. 177 

This river navigation is very pleasant work, as 
the banks of the bayous are never so high that you 
cannot get a view from the gallery of the steamboat. 
The difficulty is in this level land to get the banks 
high enough. When the levees on the right bank 
of the Mississippi break, the country is flooded right 
down to the left bank of the Tesch. The right bank 
of the Tesch is higher and free from floods, so the 
line of planters' houses stand generally on the right ; 
but each man also cultivates the land on the other 
bank, and the two halves of the plantation were 
connected by floating bridges. Cultivation is almost 
at a standstill, and ruined planters are selling for 
15 and 20 dollars an acre, lands which before the 
war would have fetched 100 and 120 dollars. The 
mode of sale did not appear to me to give the lands 
a chance of fetching a fair market price ; as when 
a mortgagee forecloses, the plantation is sold by the 
sheriff by auction on the spot, after a very limited 
amount of advertising. Many of the sugar-houses 
had been burnt in the war. At one point we had 
to go carefully through some rows of piles which 
had been driven down to stop the navigation ; and 
at another to beware of running over the wreck of the 
Confederate gunboat ' Cotton ; ' which, after a fight 
in which most of her crew were killed, was sunk 
by the artillery on the bank. The only plantation 
which showed real signs of life in the shape of 



repairs of new buildings was Judge Baker's, winch 
was pointed out to us as having once been the scene 
of an extraordinary attack by a cougar or panther. 
The servants were laying the cloth for dinner, when 
a large cougar walked into the house through the 
front door, and attacked them. The negroes showed 
fight, and one of them killed it bravely with an axe. 
I had this story from two different sources. 

The banks of the Tesch are fringed with splendid 
' live oaks,' once much valued for ship-building, be- 
fore the iron age. The orange-trees are very fruitful 
and abundant round the houses, but their season is 
nearly over now. In summer the alligators he like 
logs all along the shore, but now, after the manner of 
other lizards, they are all down in the mud. Every 
now and then we disturbed a beautiful white crane 
from his fishing, and sent the large kingfishers 
flitting along the bank. In the dusk we passed 
an Indian village, inhabited by living Indians, the 
last of a great tribe, the Attakapas, now stationary 
and half civilized, and earning their living by making 

At i a.m. we reached New Iberia, a village of 
about looo inhabitants, took leave of Captain Trini- 
dad, and slept at a public house of limited accom- 
modation, kept by ' Little Joe,' once a French Zouave. 

Prairie Shooting. 179 

Feb. 8, '67, Friday. 

In the morning we hired a vehicle from a gen- 
tleman who had lost his arm in the war, and drove 
off nine miles across the country to Salt Island, 
sometimes called Petit Aunce Island, more commonly 
Avery's Island, from the name of the proprietor, 
Judge Avery, who takes his title, not from the 
number of his chimneys, but from his having been 
a Circuit Judge of the state of Louisiana. Driving 
across country here does not imply any difficulties 
from fences. Except in one place near the town, 
where a farmer, regardless of the public and its rights 
of way, had run a rail fence straight across the track, 
we drove all the way across open prairie. Sitting 
on the box of the carriage, I shot several little 
plovers, and one snipe, to all appearance the same 
as our English full snipe. Shooting from the buggy, 
or four-wheeled gig, is a favourite sport on the 
prairies above here in the direction of Opelousas. 
After heavy rain has fallen, and the young grass 
is springing, geese and wild fowl of all species 
assemble on the open prairie. They will let them- 
selves be approached without difficulty by a man 
in a buggy. The sportsman drives through the feed- 
ing flocks of wild fowl, and his retriever is trained 
to pick up the birds, and deliver them on his hind 
legs at the vehicle. Sometimes they make use of 

N 2 


a trained ox, who walks between the sportsman and 
foolish fowl, and is expected not to be discomposed 
when the shooter fires under his belly. 

Salt Island is a hummock of sandstone, rising 
from the level plain, and visible from a great dis- 
tance round ; an island by virtue of its being sur- 
rounded by bayou and marsh. We crossed the 
marsh, in the middle of which ten great slate- 
coloured hooping cranes were holding a conclave, 
by two miles of plank road on a causeway, laid 
down during the war to accommodate the salt trans- 
portation. We met the Judge upon our road, pre- 
sented our letters of introduction, and were bidden 
to go on to the house, where we were made welcome 
by his sons. From the veranda of this house you 
get a splendid view, looking south across the bayou 
at the foot of the hill, over a wide plain of prairie 
and sea marsh, on some part of which there is 
generally a fire at night, to Vermilion Bay, five 
miles off, on the Gulf of Mexico. On one tree, 
within sight of the veranda, a pair of bald-headed 
eagles build a nest every year. 

The shooting in these marshes, if you do not mind 
alligators, is something to make the mouth of the 
British sportsman water. At different seasons of the 
year, I am told by John Avery, a mighty hunter, 
you may see the pelican, the spoonbill, and the pink 
flamingo ; we saw the beautiful white, or sandhill 

Shooting. 181 

crane, and the great hooping cranes. Of ducks and 
geese they bag twenty- four different kinds. I say 
nothing of the soft-shelled turtles, the most delicate 
of all turtles, nor of the terrapins, more delicious 
than turtles. In the woods around there are plenty 
of deer and plenty of black bears ; fourteen were 
killed on our neighbour's plantation in one year. 
They come by night to feed on the cobs of the 
Indian corn ; and being very particular that it shall 
be of a certain ripeness, break down and spoil a great 
deal more than they eat. Indian corn being the 
chief food of the negroes, they naturally resent this 
conduct on the part of the bears, waylay them by 
night, and cut off their retreat to the woods. The 
bear is slain, and his hams taken from him ; and 
the corn which is spoilt by the dogs and the negroes 
is probably more than that which was spoilt by the 

One afternoon we went out snipe-shooting, on 
ground where four guns once killed 216 snipe in 
the day's work. We did not have such luck, as 
the snipe are now mostly up on the prairie ; and 
the day being cloudy, they went away very wild ; 
but we were not long in getting four-and-twenty. 

F was nearly lost in the bog in retrieving a 

big bittern which he shot. Ducks and geese did not 
show much ; but after firing your gun, you could 
hear cackles and quacks in the reedy fortresses all 


round. We beat the same ground over again 
another day, and in two hours got nineteen snipe, 
but this is considered very poor sport. 

I have been making inquiries into the manners 
and customs of the alligators in these parts. Every- 
body gives them a bad character. Negroes hate 
them because they snap up stray pigs. Sportsmen 
hate them because they have a peculiar fancy for 
dogs. Every one hates them because they are 
hideous ; nobody ever saw a good-looking alligator. 
Every one owes them a grudge also, because an 
alligator in love has no command over his feelings, 
and bellows all night long, which prevents other 
people from sleeping. The alligators have no friends, 
and seem in consequence to get hit pretty hard. If 
a rifle has to be emptied, and an alligator is near, 
it is always emptied into the alligator. A certain 
amount of lying and slandering must, as they say, 
be discounted off this evil-speaking. All negro 
babies and pigs that are missing are laid to the 
alligators, but the number of babies made away 
with since freedmen took to wandering has been 
considerable, and the number of pigs killed and 
eaten by negroes to whom they did not belong is 
larger still. 

The alligator is a treacherous beast, catching his 
prey on land by feigning stupidity ; he crawls out 
of the water and lies on the mud like a log, motion- 

Alligators. 183 

less, but in reality wide awake. J. A was one 

day shooting rabbits, and put his dog into a reed- 
bed. The water in the bayou had fallen a little, 
and between the reed-bed and the water was a 
strip of mud. A rabbit slipped out of the reeds and 
was stealing along the edge of the bayou, where an 
alligator, with his tail in the water, lay apparently 
asleep. As the rabbit passed, he swung his head 
round, open-mouthed, and snapped it up as quickly 
as a greyhound does a hare, backed leisurely into 
the water until his head only appeared perpendicularly 
above the surface ; there was a shake and a crunch, 
the rabbit dropped down his throat, and the alli- 
gator disappeared. D. A was shooting ducks on 

the bayou one day, paddling himself in a little dug- 
out canoe, while his dog beat along the shore. Pre- 
sently he heard his dog shrieking in the most heart- 
rending manner, and about fifty yards off saw an old 
alligator backing quietly into the water, dragging 
the poor dog after him, having snapped hold of him 
by the very tip of the nose. Being a man who 
knows how to paddle his own canoe, he reached the 
spot just in time to save his favourite dog by plant- 
ing a charge of shot satisfactorily in the alligator's 
eye. Going along one day in the canoe he saw 
something which at a distance looked like the head 
of a deer swimming across the bayou. On ap- 
proaching, it turned out to be the body of an 


unfortunate coon all alive, held up by an alligator 
who had seized it by the hind-legs as it was swimming 
across. The alligator looked up at him open-eyed 
through about eight inches of water and did not 
appear at all disturbed at being found out. So he 
drew his revolver, and fired it down into the water 
between the eyes. Alligator and coon went down 
together, and the coon came to the surface, without 
the alligator, about twenty yards off. They seldom 
attack men in these parts, but there is a gun in the 
house with the marks of an alligator's teeth on it. 
A friend of the family was out shooting on the marsh 
one day, and came across a great reptile lying in the 
path. He had formed a low opinion of the brute's 
courage, and administered a kick in the ribs, ex- 
pecting to see it scuttle off; but to his horror it 
came at him open-mouthed, and had him at close 
quarters. He crammed his gun into the alligator's 
mouth and took to his heels, while the alligator, ap- 
parently satisfied at having disarmed the enemy, went 
off in an opposite direction. 

Before the war, the island was belted round with 
splendid live oaks ; but when General Banks was ex- 
pected to attack, for the purpose of destroying the 
salt works, these were all cut down by the enthu- 
siastic officer charged with the defence, in order that 
they might not intercept the fire from the rifle-pits 
he had dug on the slope of the hill. Afterwards 

Humming-birds. 185 

came other military authorities, and said that no 
rifle-pits would have afforded so good a cover for 
the sharp-shooters as that belt of oaks, and that it 
was the greatest of mistakes to cut them down. The 
ladies of the family lament greatly the destruction 
of a great magnolia which stood near the house, the 
special home of the humming-birds, who used to build 
innumerable nests in it ; and when it was in flower, 
used to sparkle and glance in the sun among the 
great white blossoms, and hum like swarming bees. 
I shot a woodcock by the salt works close to a little 
glade of marvellous beauty. The bright sun over- 
head was shut out by some huge live oaks, from 
every twig of which hung long floating filaments of 
Indian moss, catching the broken sunbeams like a 
great gauzy veil. Underneath the oaks, the prospect 
was not shut out by any underwood, but the ground 
was hidden by a thick covering of palmettoes, a dwarf 
palm about four feet high. Beverley never put such 
a fairy glen on the stage. 

The Cape jessamine grows to a little tree here. 
The orange-trees are just beginning to show the 
white blossom. At one plantation near this they 
grow acres of orange-trees for the New Orleans 
market. Lemon-trees are more delicate here than 
orange-trees ; but you could grow on this planta- 
tion, beside sugar above and salt below, orange, 
lemon and citron, cotton, indigo, and tobacco. The 


green peas are just ready to eat in the garden ; but 
are devoured before the gardener can pick them, 
by the ' red birds,' the bright red cardinals. The 
choice little bird for the table now, on whom war 
is waged all day long, is the robin ; not cock-robin, 
as I said before, but a red-breasted thrush. They 
are t o fat, that when shot, they fall to the ground, 
as somebody remarked, like pats of butter. If he 
had been cock-robin, we should have held him 
sacred, but being distinctly a thrush, we had good 
classical authority for eating him. 

One day we got together all the idle negroes and 
stray dogs that were to be found, and went across 
the bayou for a deer hunt. From the veranda of 
the house a stray deer or two had been seen feeding 
on the nearest 'burn/ as the bare track left by a 
fire running over the long dry grass is called. Here 
and there on the marsh were patches of woodland, 
and these we proceeded to beat. The guns were 
posted at points from which it seemed likely the 
deer would break cover ; and the negroes with the 
dogs were sent in to beat. Our dogs were not dogs 
of discretion, and increased the excitement by giving 
tongue whenever they came across a rabbit. But 
the excitement did not require increasing ; for at 
the first bit of cover, a buck came out about forty 

yards from where F was posted. Unfortunately 

he did not see it, and the deer slipped back into 

Salt Works. 187 

the wood, and was out at the other end and across 
the bayou before we could stop him. At the next 
beat, a doe came out near me. I had my old 
double-barrel loaded with buckshot, and hit her hard 
with both barrels, but still she went on with a 
broken foreleg, until Avery ran her down and finished 
her with a shot in the head ; and we returned to 
the house in a triumphal procession, with the deer 
carried between two negroes. 

The oldest inhabitant upon the island is old John 
Hays, a Pennsylvanian by birth, who settled here in 
1 790, at the age of fifteen, and has lived here seventy- 
seven years. When he arrived he found it densely 
covered with wood, uninhabited, and without traces 
of human habitation. He invited the Attakapas 
living in the vicinity to join him in hunting ; but 
they always refused, saying that the spot had once 
been the scene of a great calamity to their race, and 
that they had never visited it since. The nature of 
the calamity they never would explain. At one 
time it must have been frequented by them, as pot- 
tery, stone arrow-heads, stone lasts for mocassins, 
and basket-work of split wild-cane, such as they still 
make, have been turned up in abundance. 

In hunting in 1791, John Hays discovered a brine- 
spring in a ravine near the centre of the island. Salt 
was procured at different times by boiling the brine, 
but in 1 86 1, when the supply from England was cut 


off, and salt had become very dear in the Southern 
States by reason of the blockade, they began to 
work the brine-spring systematically. John Avery, 
a youth of nineteen, set himself to work to see if the 
spring could not be increased by digging ; but with- 
out much success. He got hold of some books on 
geology, and determined to have a dig for the rock- 
salt. They dug down sixteen feet without success, 
when, on the 4th of May, 1862, the negro at the 
bottom of the hole shouted out that he had found 
a log ; on being told to dig it out, he replied that 
he could not get down round it on any side. It 
was a bed of rock-salt, purer than any found 

The Confederate Government took it in hand ; 
shafts were sunk, and the salt got by blasting ; and 
they have had at one time on the island as many as 
500 teams from every Southern State, waiting for 
their loads. This activity continued until on the 
20th of April, 1863, General Banks attacked the 
island and burnt up the works. A company is now 
in process of formation in New York, for the purpose 
of working the mine, with an adequate capital ; and 
I should say it would be good for them, but bad for 
Cheshire, as at the present time the chief supply of 
salt to the Southern States comes to the port of New 
Orleans, as return cargo in the cotton-ships from 
Liverpool. It may be interesting to Cheshire salt- 

Salt Mine. 189 

owners to know the facts on which the Petit Aunce 
Salt Company calculate their future profits. 

They quote the ' Mineral Statistics/ London, i865 } 
to show that the yield of the British salt-fields in 
1864 was as follows : — 


r Eock Salt, 58,030 
Cheshire, ( Refinedj ^^g 

Worcestershire, 167,000 

Belfast — Ireland, 17*245 


Of this 86,208 tons, value £36,623, were exported 
to America. Before the war, a quarter of all the 
salt imported from England used to be brought to 
New Orleans by cotton-ships as return cargo. Eng- 
lish - coarse-fine' salt is now selling at New Orleans 
at 16 dollars currency (£2 13s. /\.d.) a ton; 6 dollars 
(£1) of which is duty payable to the United States' 
Government on importation, from which the Petit 
Aunce salt would be free. Taking the cost of trans- 
portation from the mine to New Orleans at 3 dollars 
per ton, they estimate that it can be placed in the 
New Orleans market at 4 dollars a ton, and at 
St. Louis at 8 dollars as return cargo by the Mississippi 
steam-boats. The area of the salt, as at present 
ascertained, is about 140 acres. It has been bored 
into 36 feet without showing any change of quality, 
but the boring-tools were too imperfect to penetrate 


further. It is hard and dry, and in appearance pure 
and white as glass. The specimens I brought away 
are masses of agglomerated distinct crystals. The 
analysis is as follows : — 

Chloride of Sodium, 98.88 
Sulphate of Lime, 0.76 

Chloride of Magnesium, 0.23 
Chloride of Calcicum, 0.13 
Moisture, 0.0 


Not far from the brine- spring they once dug up 
the skeleton of a Mammoth. I think I have read 
of similar discoveries in the vicinity of other salt- 
springs. Do the African and Indian elephants fre- 
quent ' salt-licks,' as the antelopes and the Cheshire 
cows do 1 

Feb. 11, '67, Monday. 

It was proposed to go grouse-shooting on some 
moors about twenty miles off ; but we determined not 
to yield to temptations. Bade adieu to the hospitable 
Judge and his family, and were driven back that 
evening to New Iberia, not without adventures, for in 
the dusk on the prairie we stuck fast in a large ditch, 
where one of the mules broke first the swingle-bar 
and then the trace. Jube, the driver, had to take off 
his shoes and stockings and descend calmly into the 
ditch. He mended the swingle-bar with the straps 

Opelousas Railway. 191 

from our rugs, and the trace with the thong of the 
whip ; and we had yet time to take a drink at ' Little 
Joe's/ before the arrival of Captain Trinidad and the 
< Anna E.' 

Feb. 12, '67, Tuesday. 

We returned to New Orleans by the same route 
by which we had left it. One of the most remarkable 
things about America is the amount of hope existing 
in the atmosphere. All the air above this great con- 
tinent is full "of magnificent castles, with cloud- 
capped towers and gorgeous palaces. New Iberia is 
at this time an assemblage of very ordinary wooden 
houses ; but the New Orleans and Opelousas Kailway 
has a great future before it. Whenever it can get 
funds to make 120 more miles of 'track/ it becomes 
the highway to Texas ; and when its visionary ex- 
tensions are carried out, two railways, one from 
Mexico and the other from California, meet at 
New Iberia, which thus becomes a city of the first 

The uncertainties of communication between New 
Orleans and the Havanna are very vexatious to 
travellers. We had come back to take advantage of 
an advertisement of a French vessel, the ' Darien/ to 
sail on the 1 3th ; and behold the Darien had not even 
arrived in port. But the ' Manhattan/ which had been 
advertised to sail first on the 6th, then on the 8th, 


and then on the 9 th, was going positively to sail on 
the 13th. So after leaving a large bunch of snipes 
on our friends in New Orleans, at 8 a.m. punctually 
we were on board. 

Feb. 13, '6j, Wednesday. 

We lost a valuable two hours at starting, and 
began to think that after all the Manhattan was not 
going to sail until the 14th, when our Captain came 
on board at last, and we paddled down the river 
with 1,500 bales of cotton on board, bound for 
New York, and drawing 162 feet of water. New 
Orleans to the Havanna is 623 miles. The banks of 
the Mississippi below New Orleans are profoundly 
uninteresting. Even at this point, the breadth of the 
river is not impressive ; but the depth is said to be 
enormous. In going down the river we passed only 
two vessels, and reached the bar at the Mississippi 
mouth just at nightfall. 

When the yellow waters of the river meet the tide- 
waters of the Gulf, the mud which is brought down 
in suspension is thrown down, and forms a great bar 
or bank across the river mouth. As the weather was 
close and foggy, and no pilot was to be got, and 
moreover the ship would have forfeited her in- 
surances if she had gone to grief in attempting 
the bar without a pilot, we were compelled to cast 
anchor for the night. 

Oil the Bar. 193 

Feb. 14, '67, Thursday. 

Pilot on board. While he was up in the rigging, 
sticking his body out at all sorts of preposterous 
angles trying to see through the mist ahead, a little 
sailing-boat came alongside ballasted with huge oys- 
ters. The steward went down to try them, and took so 
kindly to them, that he bought six large baskets full. 
His example inspirited the timid passengers, who went 
down one by one and had their half-dozen apiece, and 
came baek not visibly altered in size, which makes me 
doubt the truth of Punch's two pictures of the Lon- 
don small boy before and after he had swallowed 
a street oyster ; for the oyster of the Mississippi 
mouth is in bulk equal to any ten natives such as are 
sold by Lynn or Prosser ; but he is very long and 
flexible, so that an experienced enemy can still 
swallow him whole. An oyster of that magnitude 
so early in the morning requires courage. 

Weather, like that of last evening, a close hot 
driving mist. By 10 a. m. it cleared a little, and we 
weighed anchor ; but stuck on the bank after all for 
more than two hours, paddling backwards, and pad- 
dling forwards, and living in a state of continual 
anxiety as to the position of the wreck of an old 
iron-clad, sunk in the war-time somewhere close to 
where we were. 

The voyage lasted four mortal days. We had 



about forty passengers on board ; but I solaced 
myself chiefly with the society of the Captain, a 
Connecticut man, who had lived two years in Eng- 
land, and seen something of the rest of the world He 
had built a great castle in the air over Mexico, in the 
neighbourhood of Tampico. This is the speculation, 
in which I have leave to join : — 

Not long ago the Captain had been engaged in 
carrying the mails for the Mexican Government, but 
when they gave up paying, he stopped working. At 
that time it was a clear thing in the opinion of the 
Captain and many others, that Maximilian's reign 
was to be measured by months, and the Emperor's 
friends were open to sell anything they possessed for 
a very small amount of hard and portable cash. A 
certain Don thus situated, wrote the following letter 
to his agent, who had given our Captain the option 
of purchase : — 

• Hacienda de Sta Maria de situate with 

an extent of fifty square leagues. Has twenty-two 
ranch erias (cattle stations) and abounds with water 
for irrigation and other purposes. The principal 
hacienda has trojes (barns) built of masonry, with 
corraleras (enclosures for cattle) surrounded by stone- 
work, as also a large potrero of four square leagues 
fenced in with stone and well watered. The climate 
is similar to that of Jalapa or Orisava. The lands are 
chiefly composed of immense and fertile plains. They 

Land in Mexico. 195 

are stocked with every kind of agricultural tools and 
implements for the cultivation of sugar, cotton, and 
maize, which are the natural products ; and had on 
them 22,000 head of cattle (without counting the wild 
cattle). On account of the depredations committed 
lately, the number of cattle on the estate may be un- 
certain. To be sold without any responsibility on 
the part of the owner for the result of any dispo- 
sitions by the Liberals for 30,000 dollars (£6,000), 
two-thirds cash and one-third on credit. 

'Mexico, Nov. 8th, 1866/ 

On making more particular enquiries, the Captain 
had ascertained that it had not been safe for the 
owner to visit his estate since 1864, after which period 
he had received no rents, and that when last there, 
he had never stirred abroad without an armed guard 
of some twenty horsemen ; that then the general who 
called himself the Governor of the Province, being a 
man of Liberal principles, had formally confiscated the 
estate to his own use ; and that since that event there 
had been six other Governors of the Province, several 
of whom had died violent deaths. 

I am not very clear about the size of Mexican 
leagues and acres, but we made the price to be, for 
the best lands in Mexico about nine cents, or somewhat 
less than 4.0I. an acre, and evidently our title would 
be as good as anybody else's. How then did the 
Captain propose that we should hold our own 1 By 

o 2 


planting a colony. What would be easier, by the 
help of the good ship Manhattan, in which he was 
a part owner % Take ioo families of Cornish miners, 
now out of work, and ready to go anywhere. Take 
ioo families of German emigrants, agriculturists and 
wine-growers ; one cargo of English and one of Ger- 
mans. These can be placed on the estate at thirty 
dollars a-head. Add Texan cattle-drivers, and men 
from Louisiana skilled in growing cotton and sugar. 
We should find about i,ooo Indians on the land, 
peaceable, acclimatised, and admirably fitted to grow 
the cotton, the sugar, and the maize, for the benefit of 
the new colonists. Three hundred English, German, 
and Americans would hold their own against all the 
guerrillas in Mexico. Once establish in the middle of 
the chaos an oasis where life and liberty were safe, and 
colonists would flock in, our lands would rise in value. 
We should sell at 8d. an acre and double our capital 
at once. Or the Manhattan should go, laden with 
cattle tame or wild, to supply the markets of New 
Orleans and the Havanna. Or send her laden with 
silver ore to be smelted at Swansea. Herman Cortez 
never had such a chance. We register our title- 
deeds at Washington. After Maximilian comes Jua- 
rez (pronounced Warrez) ; after Juarez, an American 
protectorate. The Captain being an American citizen, 
Mr. Seward is bound to support our title. My views 
were mostly for the good of the colony ; but the 

Volantes. 197 

Captain was open to sell his interest at any time for 
8d. an acre, cent, per cent. 

Feb. 17, '6j, Sunday. 

At 1 a.m. cast anchor in the beautiful harbour 
of the Havanna. Got a bucket and rope, and went 
down on the ship's guard behind the paddle-box, 
and emptied buckets of water over my head. We 
are in the tropics, remember, anchored just under 
Moro Castle ; and every time the castle clock strikes 
the hour, the sentries round the walls cry ' All's well,' 
or whatever the Spanish for it may be ; and, as a 
little black nursemaid remarked, ' It sounds just 
like the cocks' crowing in the morning.' 

Went to the Hotel de Inglaterra. Bad rooms, but 
fair cookery. Charge for board and lodgings, three 
dollars a-day. We have come to a new land again. 
Pictures of Spanish life, by Ansdell, walking about 
in the streets. Ladies wearing the mantilla and 
scorning parasols. In the evening they drive about 
in evening dress, under the silver moon, in vehicles 
called ' volantes ; ' pictures of which may be seen on 
cigar-boxes. A volante is like a sedan-chair, inas- 
much as it is borne on two long elastic poles ; but 
a horse is substituted for the front porter, and two 
enormous wheels for the hind porter, and where the 
sedan-chair should be, is the body of a gig with a 
head to it. A second horse harnessed to the near side 

198 HA V ANNA. 

by enormously long traces, carries a negro postilion, 
the silver buckles of whose jackboots, combined 
with the splendour of his stirrups, are glorious to 
behold. This second horse has a good time of it, 
as he carries the postilion who whips the other 
horse, and he only condescends to tighten his own 
traces when the first horse is stuck fast. The head 
of this gig being put down, you see that the volante 
contains two ladies, without bonnets, in full evening 
dress, with fan and mantilla. Sitting at, and ap- 
parently on their feet, is lady number three, with 
her feet on the carriage step. They are driving off 
to the Place, to sit in their carriage and listen for an 
hour to the band. 

I like the scenes by sunlight best. To-day I saw 
one which I had often seen on tea-chests, a China- 
man trotting down the street, with a long pole on 
his shoulder, from each end of which hung a box 
full of dinners, like a huge pair of scales ; roast pup 
and birds'-nest soup no doubt. Negro importation 
is at an end here ; so, for some years past, they 
have been supplementing the failing negro labour 
by importing coolies largely. There are about 
100,000 Chinamen in Cuba. Last year they im- 
ported between 15,000 and 20,000. They sign 
written contracts in China to give their labour for 
either five or eight years, for their keep and four 
dollars and a quarter per month. The importing 

Chinese Coolies. 199 

speculator brings over several hundreds at a time, 
and lodges them in a barracoon, or barrack, just 
outside the town ; and assigns the contracts at an 
enormous profit to the planters who are in want of 

The Chinese are less strong, but far more intel- 
ligent, than the negroes ; not so good for field-work, 
but more clever at handicrafts and house-work ; 
quickly learn Spanish, and are all able to read and 
write their own language. They work well for those 
who treat them well, but are very revengeful ; and, 
having murdered a certain number of planters and 
overseers who maltreated them, are beginning to 
be respected by the Spaniards. Their manner of 
murder is ingenious. When it has been agreed that 
the overseer must be killed, all the Chinamen on the 
plantation surround him, and all strike the victim ; 
and when the police come and inquire who did this, 
they say, We all did it. No Chinese women are 
imported ; the coolies mix little with the negro 
women. After they have worked out their contract, 
they easily get employment at eighteen or twenty dol- 
lars a month, save money, and often become small 
shopkeepers. They are said never to remit money to 
relatives, or to communicate with friends in China. 
They care nothing for life, often commit suicide, and 
never express any desire to return to their native 
land. This is what the Spaniards say about the 


Chinese ; what the Chinese say about the Spaniards 
I cannot tell you. 

I would that some artist would draw me a picture 
of the negress sitting with a large basket of fruit at 
the corner of our street ; a bright handkerchief round 
her head, gold rings in her ears, and a large cigar 
in her mouth ; bare arms, aud a remarkably low 
evening dress. The condition of the negro popula- 
tion in this city strikes one at the first glance as 
being better, as far as material comfort goes, than 
in any part of the United States. The splendid 
apparel of some of the nurses, housekeepers, and I 
suppose, freed women, is quite startling. But then 
it must be remembered that we saw the negresses 
in the States in poverty and in whiter ; whereas 
these ladies of colour are well-to-do and shining in 
the sun. 

Feb. 1 8, '67, Monday. 
News that Juarez had defeated Miramon, and 
that the Liberals are victorious at all points. Visited 
the Fabrica de Tabacos of Signor Partagas, and saw 
all the process of making cigars, from the opening 
the bales of leaves to the tying up the bundles of 
cigars. First-rate cigars, Loudres, to be bought at 
forty-eight piastres, alias dollars, per 1000. I wish 
you had some of our sun in Paris. The squares here 
are all planted with an evergreen called the Laurel 

Skilled Chinese Labour, 201 

de India, said to have been all propagated from one 
stock. In many parts of the town you see tall palm- 
trees peering over the walls. 

Feb. 19, '6j, Tuesday. 

We went over the Hondrades manufactory of 
cigarettes, the exportation of which to Mexico and 
South America is something enormous. Both at the 
cigar and cigarette manufactory the nimblest fingers 
were Chinese. The machinery at the Hondrades ^f or 
making barrels for packing the cigarettes is very 
pretty. This machinery also was being worked by 

There is matter for reflection in this aptitude of 
the Chinese for manufacture. Here in manual dex- 
terity they surpass both white men and negroes in 
making cigars and cigarettes ; moreover, they are 
to be got for lower wages. Why should they not 
be available for other things besides cigars and 
cigarettes % In the cotton trade for instance. Ima- 
gine in a few years' time the American railroad com- 
pleted to the Pacific coast, and the cotton from the 
Southern States, or cotton from India, shipped to 
the great cities of China, where factories have by 
that time been built, filled with European machinery, 
tended by these Chinese coolies, of whom there are 
thousands to be hired for a few grains of rice a day. 
Or imagine factories built by Northern capitalists 


in Texas or Georgia, to work up the cotton on the 
spot where it is grown. There are Chinamen in 
plenty waiting at San Francisco to be hired. 

In the evening we took a drive through Sero, a 
fashionable suburb. I imagine Sero is not unlike 
what Pompeii would have been had gas and windows 
been invented then. Whether the inhabitants are 
afraid of earthquakes, or are too lazy to go up stairs, 
I cannot say ; but the houses in Sero consist ap- 
parently entirely of ground-floor rooms, with lofty 
ceilings. The fronts are long low stone facades, with- 
out visible roofs. Under the porticoes you sit by day 
in the shade in your rocking-chair. By night the 
large windows, open to the ground but all covered 
with iron grilles, reveal the whole interior life of 
the house to the passer-by. The rooms are lit 
brilliantly with gas, and through the windows you 
have a distinct view of the family circle, as if the 
side of the house next the street had been removed. 
To an English eye the scene was very quaint. Out- 
side, the bright moon, and horizon fringed with palm- 
trees, and ladies driving in volantes ; inside, society 
in full costume sitting in stiff circles, with pictures 
and pianos, sofas and fauteuils, all in full view, and 
generally one or two of the prettiest of the senoras 
near the windows. 

By the Union Railway. 203 

Feb. 20, '67, Wednesday. 

From London we took introductions to New Or- 
leans ; New Orleans passed us on to Salt Island. 
There we were introduced to a visitor of the Judge's, 
and mentioned at parting that we were going to the 
Havanna. Then, said the visitor, let me give you 
this letter to a friend of mine in Cuba, and be sure 
you go and stay with him. And what, we inquired, 
is the custom of Cuba as to presenting your letters 
of introduction % Very simple. You enclose the 
letter in a note from yourself to say you will be 
there by such a train, and he will send the horses to 
meet you at the station. 

Two days ago we had posted our letter, and at 
5.30 this morning we left Havanna by the Union 
Railway, which runs up into the heart of the island, 
for a plantation some fifty miles inland. It was still 
dark when we started in a train with a Chinaman for 
conductor, along a railway which was being repaired 
by Chinese navvies ; but early morning and sunrise 
in the tropics was a thing to wake up for. We were 
going through a country, of which the royal palm 
was the chief timber tree ; growing in double, treble, 
and quadruple avenues in front of each planter's 
house ; standing in lines down every hedge of 
prickly aloes, and rising in groves above thickets 
of feathering bamboos. A row of palm-trees in the 


dark look in silhouette very like the outline of a 
row of plumes upon a hearse ; but the sun rising 
behind them soon gave quite another expression to 
the landscape, and you can hardly imagine how 
beautiful the palms looked, wading on their tall 
stems in the morning mist, which lay like a lake 
upon the face of the country, a mirage with the 
palm-trees growing in it. The dew here is equal 
in amount to a fair shower of rain, and ' waters 
the whole face of the ground/ The soil of this 
part is a rich ruddy brown, like a dead beech-leaf 
(very similar to the soil of the cotton -lands of 
Georgia), resting upon a creamy limestone, large 
nodules of which are strewn over most of the fields. 
They only scratch the soil with the ploughs. We 
passed some oxen, whose yokes had just been put 
on, grazing in couples on the wet grass, until the 
negro ploughman was ready to put them to. In 
some places where the ploughs were at work the 
furrows were covered with flocks of chickens as 
numerous as our rooks, showing the wealth of in- 
sect life. 

The sight of the new vegetation here repays one 
for the voyage from New Orleans. A man who has 
only seen horse-chestnuts, and acorns, and beechmast, 
has no idea of the meaning of ' the tree yielding fruit, 
whose seed is in itself, after his kind.' All the trees 
here seem to bear either fruits good to eat, or nuts 

Coffee replaced by Sugar. 205 

from which oil can be made, All nature is glorified. 
The wild-flowers are those of our hothouses. The 
bindweeds in the hedges are a large white one, 
the purple and blue one of our gardens, and a 
brilliant yellow. Coffee-shrubs are abundant round 
the houses. This was a land of coffee ; but at a time 
when coffee was low in price and sugar high, the 
cultivation of coffee was superseded by that of sugar, 
And, as it takes three years' growth before a young 
coffee-tree comes into bearing, and the sugar-cane 
springs up here year after year, like a field of grass, 
without replanting, the planters have stuck to sugar 
ever since. Half the orange -trees are just now 
coming into blossom, and the other half still bear- 
ing fruit ; some have both fruit and flower on them. 
The orange-tree might be taken as the symbol of this 
country. It seems as though there were no seasons, 
and that by judicious planting, the same fruits might 
be had all the year round. Some people are planting 
fresh sugar-cane now, and others reaping their cane. 
You can get two crops of corn in the year, ripe from 
the same field. This is February, but a south wind 
is blowing, and the inhabitants say that it is not 
much hotter at midsummer. Some English officers 
here, who have been in India, say this is regular 
Indian weather. They have just come from the 
Canadian winter. 

When we reached our station, San Nicolas, it was 


hot. No horses had come to meet us ; nobody could 
speak a word of anything but Spanish. How we 
explained that we wanted horses, I never under- 
stood, but they appeared after a while. I believe 
they were procured by the Padre of the village, who 
understood us, although we could not understand 
him. And at length, preceded by a negro on a 
mule with two straw saddlebags, in which our lug- 
gage was stowed, each man with his gun under his 
arm, we arrived at the great avenue of palm-trees 
which led up to the door of our intended host. This 
is a country in which warlike demonstrations are not 
out of place ; many of the men still carry swords, 
others the 'macheta,' something between a sword and 
a bill-hook, useful for cutting down either briers, 
sugar-canes, or slaves, and there are holsters for 
pistols attached to all saddles of a certain age. 
The absence of horses at the station was explained, 
on our arrival, by the fact that our letter had never 
come to hand, though posted two days ago. This 
was awkward, but the postman condescended to de- 
liver it about an hour after we arrived, and we were 
welcome, and soon found ourselves breakfasting in 
the veranda. 

We prolonged our visit from Wednesday to the 
following Monday ; but one day was so like another 
in the languid heat, that I cannot separate the 
events. Houses are built here facing north-east and 

A Gunga. 207 

south-west, so that you always have a cool veranda 
on one side or other. The main idea of all 'Creole' 
buildings is the same ; a large hall occupies the 
middle of the house, opening at each end on to 
a veranda ; rooms open out of the hall, two on 
either side ; and two out of each veranda, one at 
each end ; no chimneys, no staircases, no fire-places, 
and, except to the hall, no ceilings. 

Coffee is brought to you in bed at the hour at 
which you propose to rise. The eating and drinking 
was luxurious, yet spices and sauces were much in 
request; and two meals a day, breakfast at u a.m., 
and dinner at 6 p.m., were as much as we could 
manage. Drinks and oranges were to be had at all 
hours. One day we were regaled with a 'gunga, 5 
being a stuffed fillet of beef stewed in tomato juice, 
according to a receipt sent to a Cuban planter from 
his brother in Africa. The brother being a wander- 
ing Scotchman settled at the court of the King of 
Gunga, wherever that may be, married the king's 
daughter, and transmitted the receipt direct from 
the royal cuisine. If you like tomatoes, you will like 
gungas: unfortunately I do not; which is a mistake 
here, as the vegetable is esteemed a specific against 
liver complaints, and eaten largely. The guava jelly 
of this land is abundant, and beyond praise. A planter 
near here, the other day received a consignment of 
guava jelly from an English friend who was sending 


him goodies from Fortnum and Mason ; and re- 
torted by sending in return a dozen or two of 
London stout. 

We are now in a land of slavery and oriental atti- 
tudes ; at breakfast, the morning we arrived, a young 
negress kept the flies away from me with a feather 
fan. As I smoked my cigar after breakfast in the 
garden, a young ebony statue, aged ten, that was 
minding the chickens, ran up, dropped on its knees 
at my feet, and holding up its folded hands, ex- 
claimed, ' Dimo ; ' which means, ' Ten cents, your 
honour/ Next morning, a little child of the black 
housekeeper came into my bedroom to say Good 
morning, which she performed by squatting on her 
hams on the floor, with hands folded in her lap, and 
head bowed down, as though entreating a blessing 
from my lordship ; which she got, and a dimo. The 
negroes in the hot part of the day strip off all upper 
clothing and work naked to the waist, shining in 
the sun like polished bronze. The white folk do 
not go so far as that, but it is not an uncommon 
thing to see a respectable gentleman with his shirt- 
tails outside his trousers instead of in, which no 
doubt was the origin of the smock-frock. 

Coming fresh from the States where slavery has 
just been abolished, I was very curious to see the 
working of it here in Cuba. In the Southern States 
I had heard it said more than once ; ' You must not 

Emancipation approaching. 209 

suppose that slavery with us was anything like what 
it is in Cuba. Our negroes were much better 
treated.' Without having much means of judging, 
I am disposed to think that was true in many points; 
certainly the slaves in the Southern States had better 
dwellings than those in Cuba have, There is a vast 
difference in the condition of the domestic servants 
and that of the field hands. The former seem to have 
little to complain of. Nothing can be worse than the 
condition of the latter. It is an acknowledged fact 
in Cuba, that as a result of the abolition of slavery 
in the States, and in consequence of the pressure of 
public opinion from without, the institution will not 
last many years longer in this island ; yet no single 
attempt is being made, that I heard of, to sow the 
seeds of morality or education among the slaves. 

We rode over one morning to a large plantation in 
the neighbourhood which is considered one of the 
best ordered and progressive in the island. The ma- 
chinery was splendid and new, but no measures were 
being taken to humanize the slaves. Three or four 
couples are lodged in the same room, and none are 
taught to read or write. A large bath had been 
built in the middle of the square of lodgings, in 
which the men and women bathed promiscuously 
together. There used to be round here a pleasant 
society of resident planters, and in the early morning 
and evening, riding parties used to muster strong in 



little cavalcades of gentlemen and ladies. But now 
there is no society ; the proprietors have disap- 
peared, and the estates are left in the hands of 
overseers. The same change is said to be taking 
place all over the island. The planters spend their 
money at the Havanna, at Paris, or New York, and 
the institution is left behind, and nobody sees his way 
out of it. These resident overseers are despotic over 
the slaves ; there is no power of press or public 
opinion to restrain them from doing anything that 
may seem good in their eyes. At the plantation I 
last mentioned, the sugar-master and engineer were 
Americans, who only come to the island for five or 
six months in the year, during the season of cutting 
the cane, and during the rest of the year follow other 
occupations in the States. When they are away, un- 
less the proprietor should think fit to look after his 
property himself, the resident overseer would be left 
entirely to his own devices. 

One curious thing about the negro women struck 
me strongly several times. You sometimes see tall 
lusty young women full of life and health, moving 
about as in a trance, with faces so passive and pas- 
sionless, so stony, fixed, and sphinx-like, that they 
seem to be without any human expression. They 
look at you and beyond you with dreamy eyes, as 
though there was no bond of human sympathy 
between you and them. Whether their thoughts are 

Grinding Cane. 211 

far away in Africa or elsewhere, or they have no 
thoughts at all, I never could make out. I am 
disposed to think the latter ; that life has no interest 
whatever for them, and that they have no emotions 
or thoughts of any kind except when engaged in 
household occupations, and then they walk in a kind 
of sleep. Sometimes these faces were quite startling 
in their stony serenity. 

One night I heard a wild noise going on at the next 
plantation, much the style of tumult that you imagine 
voyagers hear when lying off the shore of an island 
where a cannibal feast is being held. As we were in- 
formed that this was only the noise customary in 
'grinding the cane/ and that nobody was likely to 
eat us except the watch-dogs, we took a couple of 
thick sticks, and went to see. The custom is to cut 
cane until a huge pile is accumulated, enough to keep 
the mill going for two or three days. They then 
grind night and day until the pile is finished, and 
then cut again. The crushing-rollers and steam- 
engine stood under a great shed lit up with oil lamps, 
and open on three sides ; on one side was the great 
pile of cut cane, and between the pile and the rollers 
a string, mostly of women, kept passing to and 
fro out into the dark and back into the light, bring- 
ing in bundles of cane upon their heads. At night 
they generally sing at their work ; nothing in the 
Christy Minstrel style, but the very wildest and most 

p 2 


discordant of barbaric chants : one improvises about 
the visitors looking on, or anything else that happens 
to hit his or her fancy, and the rest sing chorus. The 
choruses were of the yah-yah description, a repe- 
tition of the same shout by each singer separately, as 
many yahs as singers. You can hear the shrill voices 
of the women a mile away in the still night. As 
they talk a doggerel Spanish seasoned with African 
interjections, we never understood whether the stanzas 
in our honour were complimentary or not. Some- 
times the improvisers are said to be very funny, and 
to call forth shouts of laughter ; but it was not my 
luck to see the comic side of the slave. On Sundays 
they often have a 'plantation dance/ and make 
merry, but on our particular Sunday they were unfor- 
tunately not in the humour. 

When an Englishman makes inquiries in Cuba as 
to the present state of the slave-trade, he need not 
put implicit faith in the answers he gets. I could 
hear of no recent importations of slaves into the 
island ; the answer was always the same ; that 
nothing of the kind had been heard of for years past, 
and that the end of the importation of negroes was 
proved by the fact of the importation of coolie labour 
instead. The argument is good for a great deal but 
is not quite conclusive, although there are some plan- 
tations worked entirely by Chinese labourers, because 
it is acknowledged that the negro is a better field- 
hand than the Chinaman, though the Chinaman is 

Hours for Riding. 213 

a better factory-hand than the negro. And if there 
are parts of the island where negroes could still be 
imported for field-hands, they would still be employed 
there in preference to the coolies. 

Horses are plentiful here, and are trained to carry 
you at a pleasant amble, neither trot nor canter. 
Roads villainous. In the morning or evening, or both, 
you ride abroad, do your business, and see your neigh- 
bours if you have any. But beware of staying out 
too long, for at night the darkness comes on suddenly, 
like the closing of a window-shutter ; and at ten 
o'clock in the morning you can get thoroughly baked 
in riding home to breakfast along the red sun-burnt 
roads. The red dust seems to penetrate the very 
pores of your skin. Palm-trees give little shade, and 
drop their dead leaves on the road for horses to stumble 
over — great involucra of leaf-sheaths fifteen feet long, 
in which they pack the bales of tobacco. The sum- 
mer moonlight rides are described as very beautiful, 
when the air is full of the large fire-flies which swarm 
about the flowers of the royal palms. The flowers 
fringe the top of the trunk just under the great plume 
of leaves, like the capital of a pillar from which the 
groining of the roof springs. These flowers are the 
home of the fire-flies. 

We took a short walk or two in spite of the heat. 
Coffee used to be grown formerly on this plantation ; 
and the mill for separating the berries from the husk, 
and the great platforms of smooth plaster upon which 


the coffee is spread to dry in the sun, were still re- 
maining, all in order. The coffee-shrub somewhat 
resembles the stem and branches of a large fuchsia 
bearing the leaves of a sweet bay-tree. In a walk 
here, you see orange-trees covered with fruit, tama- 
rinds and mangoes, guavas and sapotes, three or four 
kinds of palm-trees, including the cocoa-nut, bananas, 
and bamboos with roots like rocks, which no doubt 
suggested to the Chinese their usual design for 
carving the handles of bamboo walking-sticks. We 
have a cactus in the garden ten feet high, with a stem 
a foot in diameter. Parasitic plants resembling lilies 
and iris perch themselves at the tops of trees. Ants 
abound ; both the black, which live under ground and 
do no end of damage, and also the white, which build 
most remarkable nests in the forks of the trees or on 
the stone walls, as suits their fancy, black conical 
masses resembling a cinder, as large as a lady's trunk. 
With the exception of ants and mosquitoes, the land 
is free from vermin : thanks, I suppose, to St. Patrick, 
neither centipede nor serpent are said to be poisonous 
here. If you are ill, we have abundance of castor-oil- 
nut, and arnica growing in the garden. Our host 
is a great herbalist and botanist, prepares his own 
drugs, and doctors white men and negroes for some 
miles round. 

The rest of the world take three or four hours' 
sleep in the middle of the day ; but I think myself 
lucky if I get four hours' sleep at night. In spite of 

A Siesta. 215 

the heat, all creation is painfully noisy and lively. 
After a ride, a luxurious breakfast, and a cigar, 
I find myself collapsed in a rocking-chair, coat off, 
shirt-sleeves unbuttoned, not a breath of air, every- 
body else is taking their siesta in their bed-rooms ; I 
close my eyes, and hear in a few minutes a suppressed 
sound of waddling and quacking ; a foraging party 
of ducks have entered the house, on speculation of the 
garrison s being asleep. They surround me and peck 
at my boots ; I drive them out, and compose myself 
again. I hear a noise as of a small locomotive puffing ; 
it is one of the big watch-dogs who has come in 
panting, throws himself down on the floor, 'like 
a thousand of bricks,' and continues to pant. We 
ought to be having a decent north-east trade-wind ; but 
it has changed to south, which not only makes it in- 
tensely hot, but has brought up the mosquitoes from 
the coast, and they do murder sleep. F. can show thirty- 
six bites on the left hand and wrist, and forty-four on 
the right ; and, as Mr. Toots said, ' You should see my 
legs/ Then there are at least 365 cocks, hens, and ca- 
pons, who fight and love all day, and at night roost in 
the trees close to the house, and are perpetually under 
the impression that the negroes are going to make 
a night attack upon them, and in their terror fall off 
their perches, and lament until they get up again. 
There are also about 1,000 guinea-fowls who have 
emancipated themselves and gone wild, but still 
return to sleep near the house, and apparently never 


do . get to sleep. These guinea-fowls worship the 
moon, and believe that if they say to her the words 
' come back,' two thousand times in one night, their 
souls will be saved. It is also a point of honour 
among them, as to who can say ' come back' the 
greatest number of times without stopping. The 
time most preferred for playing at this game on 
a moonlight night is between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. The 
concert must have been even more perfect a month 
or two ago, when there were in addition some 
fifty peacocks about the place ; but by good luck 
these had all been stolen on Sundays, before our 
coming, by the negroes of the neighbouring plan- 
tations. We walked out with our guns one morning 
to be revenged upon the guinea-fowls. They are 
wary birds, and fly like packed grouse. We shot four 
or five, but they all fell into the sugar-cane, and after 
getting drenched to the skin with the dew upon the 
canes, we did not succeed in retrieving a single bird. 
The preparation of the chickens' evening meal is 
presided over by a very old negro, who goes by the 
name of ' Daddy.' Old Daddy's eyes had once a very 
narrow escape. He used to be messenger in general 
to the establishment, and had a mule to himself, on 
which he went all over the country ; he and his mule 
were never separated by night or day. They ate to- 
gether, but fortunately did not drink together. One 
day Daddy was sent on an errand, and did not return. 
Probably he had carried good news, for at the house 

Daddy. 217 

he went to they gave him a glass of whiskey too 
much ; and on his way home he slid from his mule to 
the ground, and slept the sleep of the drunken. In 
the morning some people passing along the road, saw 
the turkey-buzzards assembled. They came up, all 
curiosity, to see who was dead and what had hap- 
pened, and found old Daddy fast asleep, with his 
faithful old mule mounting guard over him, driving 
the buzzards away whenever they approached to have 
a peck at him. 

Feb. 25, '67, Monday. 
Communication between Cuba and the rest of the 
world is arranged a good deal by the rest of the 
world Avithout consulting Cuba ; so in spite of our 
kind host's assertion that no one ever came to see him 
without staying a fortnight, we said good-bye and 
returned to the Havanna again, intending to look out 
for a ship for New Orleans. We had proposed to go 
up the Mississippi, as far as Memphis, to visit the 
Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, and make our way by 
land via Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Chicago, to Niagara. 
But we found nothing likely to take us soon to New 
Orleans, time running short, and a fine ship of 2,000 
tons, the 'Moro Castle,' sailing on Wednesday, for 
New York. The next day was pretty well occupied 
in writing adieu to New Orleans, and in getting ad- 
vances from Mr. Clausen, the obliging representative 
of Messrs. Adot & Spaulding. 


Feb. 27, '6j, Thursday. 

Cuba to New York 1,250 miles. Smooth sailing, 
with the hills of Cuba visible for a long time on our 
right. Towards evening we got into the Gulf Stream, 
which here at this season is generally rough water. 
Running nearly due north, it meets the north-east 
trade-wind, which ruffles its temper considerably, 
and made our big ship roll. When I went on deck 
next morning, we were in moderately smooth water, 
running so close along the coast of Florida, that we 
could see the great waves breaking on a sandy beach. 
We had given up the advantage of the current of the 
Gulf Stream for the sake of the smoother water 
between it and the coast. On the third day, we got 
back into the Gulf Stream again, and resumed the 
process of rolling and paddling, sometimes with one 
wheel in the air, and sometimes with the other, not- 
withstanding which a party of Americans hung on to 
one table in the deck-cabin and played poker for 
thirteen hours, while a party of Spaniards stuck to 
the other table at monti. When we turned out on 
Sunday morning the temperature was marvellously 
changed. We had quitted the warm waters of the 
Gulf Stream, and had passed at once into winter and 
pea-jackets. Before night it began to snow ; and 
soon snowed so hard that we could see no pilot-boat, 
and had to be rocked to sleep lying outside Sandy 

The Hudson River. 219 

March 4, '6j, Monday. 

Did not get through the Custom House and to 
the Fifth Avenue Hotel until 3 p.m. 

March 5, '6j, Tuesday. 

To Niagara from New York is 458 miles by rail ; 
and we must go that way. The Hudson Eiver is 
still closed by the ice ; which is much to be regretted, 
as the Hudson Eiver steamboats are said to surpass 
even the Mississippi boats in size and splendour. 

Left New York at 7.30 a.m. by the Hudson Eiver 
railroad. For 150 miles, as far as Albany, the 
track runs close along the left bank of the river, 
following its shore, and from a left-hand seat in 
the cars you get a series of magnificent views. It 
was too cold to stand much on the platforms outside, 
as we used to do in our Southern travels. Unlike 
the Mississippi, which is edged with flat fertile plan- 
tations, the Hudson has banks of dignity, in parts 
as fine, if not finer, than the Ehine. The first part 
is called ' the Palisades ; ' a crest of trees along the 
sky-line ; below, a cliff marked in perpendicular lines 
like basalt ; at the foot, a scaur of fallen rocks, and 
lines of little firs along the water's edge. 

The Hudson runs nearly straight for the first 
twenty miles ; and then begins winding through a 
mountain range, 'the Highlands;' and the scenery 


becomes more grand. The banks are no longer 
scarped, but the river winds submissively round the 
feet of fine mountains, following the valley curves. 
Fine bluffs come out from the mountain side, and 
shoulder the river out of its course ; so that as the 
railway winds, you get great variety of views. We 
passed West Point, the military academy, on a pla- 
teau on the right bank, and Idlewild, where N. P. 
Willis used to live, and lately died. After the 
mountains are passed, hillsides succeed, and slopes 
plaided with fields ; and before you reach Albany, 
the river becomes monotonous, and bores you. 

At Albany the river was frozen over, and people 
were crossing on the ice. Here we turned westward 
by the New York Central Railway for Rochester, 229 
miles. Many of the towns along this line bear classic 
names, for example, Rome, Troy, now doing a great 
trade, among other things, in paper shirt-collars, 
Ilion, not admitted to be the same place as Troy, 
Utica, Syracuse, Palmyra and Macedon. The eastern 
terminus of the line is Boston, now renowned for 
learning. Is Boston answerable for this 1 From 
Albany to Rome, some hundred miles, we ran along 
the bank of the Mohawk River, but a small rivulet 
after the Hudson. The Mohawk had been over its 
banks during the winter ; but the frost had locked 
up its supplies of water from above, and it had sunk 
back into its bed, leaving its banks heaped with ice, 

Niagara. 221 

and the fields curiously paved with a chaos of slabs 
from eight inches to a foot in thickness. 

At Eochester we changed cars for Niagara, 75 
miles, parting from a passenger who was on his way 
to Oregon or Idaho, or some other territory 1,500 
miles off, and who had not the faintest idea 
on what day, week, or month he was likely to get 
to the end of his journey. Reached Niagara at 
2 a.m. and went to the New York Central Hotel, the 
only one open at this season of the year. 

March 6, '6j, Wednesday. 

I take my last new pen, but unfortunately Niagara 
is not to be described by that or any other pen. 
Everything was covered with snow about four inches 
deep ; but the morning was blight and clear, when 
we took a carriage, and drove across the suspension- 
bridge into the dominions of Her Gracious Majesty 
Queen Victoria. According to our driver, the bridge 
is 800 feet long, and 258 feet above the water. The 
railroad runs above, and the roadway below. It is 
hung from ropes made of iron wires, about the size 
of telegraph-wires, not twisted but laid straight, and 
whipped round to hold the strands together. As 
you come on to the bridge look to your left, and 
three miles off, at the end of the vista of troubled 
river, between precipitous banks, you will see the 
Great Falls. You will fancy you hear them ; but 


below the bridge the channel narrows somewhat and 
the waves boil up and heave, and rage madly, and 
the roar of the ' Great Falls ' is lost in the noise of 
' the Rapids.' It was over these Rapids, below the 
bridge, that Blondin stretched his rope and crossed. 
It would have been hardly possible for him to have 
crossed over the Falls, as the perpetual spray would 
have wetted his rope and made it slippery. On the 
Canadian shore, three miles along a road alarmingly 
close to the edge of the cliff, brought us to the Clifton 
House, now closed, but when open, the best of the 
hotels as far as situation goes. A hundred yards 
further, and we reached Table Rock and were en- 
veloped in the spray blown from the great Falls, 
and were accosted by a commissionaire. 

The majesty of the slow descending curve of the 
great wave is inexpressible. In the centre of the 
Horse-shoe Fall the water is deep and calm, and dark 
blue. Half-way down it begins to fleck with foam : 
how it meets its fate in the abyss is hidden by the 
veil of boiling spray. On either side of this deep 
centre the water is shallower, and the blue tint only 
seen here and there, and the wave is white and 
broken, and streaked with tawny yellow. Above 
the Falls are the Rapids, a slope of waters barred 
across with reefs of white foam, like parallel lines of 
fixed white waves. The river, in fact, just before 
reaching the Falls comes down several steps of these 

The Maid of the Mist. 223 

reefs ; and the pressure of the racing waters is so 
great that when the smooth water touches a rock 
the spray spurts up into the air as from a breaking 
wave. The great river seems to race down the 
Eapids in a headlong panic, while the rocks stand 
firm and shoulder it away. You watch the Falls 
until they fascinate you. You feel as if you were 
sitting at the spectacle of a vast tragedy, in which 
Crime and Flight, and Terror and Loathing, and 
Destiny and Power, and Death and Chaos, are all 
playing inarticulate parts. Below the Falls the 
river is of immense depth. The water seethes and 
bubbles, but is calm and almost without current, as 
though half-stunned by its fall. Three miles below, 
where it reaches the suspension-bridge, the river 
recovers its rage and runs off in boiling rapids 

Across this calm reach at the foot of the Falls, 
a little steamer called ' The Maid of the Mist ' used 
to ply from bank to bank. But during the war, 
even Niagara ceased to draw. Tourists did not come, 
the ferry was not frequented, the owner got into 
difficulties, and the Maid was mortgaged. Things 
went from bad to worse, the mortgagee foreclosed, 
and was coming next morning to take possession. 
How was the Maid to be got away 1 She had been 
built on the spot. It was clear she could not go 
up the Falls ; could she go down the Rapids below 1 


Three bold fellows determined to try. They started 
that night, passed under the suspension-bridge, and 
put her at it. The waves were seen to close over 
her, and the smoke-stack was swept from her deck ; 
but she came out at the foot of the Eapids without 
a hole in her, made her way safely to Lake Erie, and 
was sold for 8,ooo dollars, and we will hope the 
mortgagee got his money. 

In spite of frost and snow, we hung about the 
Falls for two whole days ; and were lucky in this, 
that the first day the wind set from the American 
shore and blew the spray on the Canadian bank, and 
the second day it veered about and blew the spray 
back the other way, drawing aside the veil of mist 
first to one side and then to the other. We went 
down the spiral wooden staircase on the Canadian 
side and out at the foot, and so on behind the Fall 
both days. The first day the wind was blowing in 
strong gusts upwards and downwards and eddying 
round, guiding the falling water seemingly at its 
pleasure, so that one moment you stood dry in a 
clear air, and the next you were enveloped in a 
whirlwind of spray, through which you could just 
see, as you struggled for your footing on the slippery 
ice, your companions clinging to the face of the rock 
to avoid being blown or washed away. Behind the 
Falls, on a winter's day, will enable you to imagine 
the winnowings and washings of a Dantesque 

Fatal A ceidents. 225 

purgatory. The second day, when the wind set the 
other way, we went below again, without a guide, 
and without paying a dollar, and without garments 
of oil-skin, and without getting wet and up to our 
ankles in water, and enjoyed it a good deal more. 
This natural path behind the Falls is formed, not 
by the water falling in a curve, carried by its own 
impetus out from the face of the precipice, but 
because the rock overhangs considerably. The frost 
brings off a continual scale in flakes from the 
moist face of the slaty rock, which wears away 
all that part which is not covered by water faster 
than the action of the water can grind off the upper 
surface. The Falls have receded, not entirely from 
the sawing action of the water, but because the frost 
in the long winters is perpetually scaling off the 
surface of the rock, and the spray wetting it again. 
Half Table Rock has just tumbled off, and the rest 
is cracked through ; so that it is seriously proposed 
to blast and bring it all down, for fear of accidents. 

They seem to have one or more fatal accidents 
here every year. You are shown a place by the 
side of the American Falls, where, one summer not 
long ago, a party of visitors from Buffalo were stand- 
ing with their children, one of them a little girl eight 
years old. A thoughtless young fellow touched the 
child suddenly on the shoulder and said, ' Nelly, I'll 
throw you in.' She was frightened, started, slipped, 



and rolled in before he could catch her. The man 
was so horror-struck at what he had done, that with- 
out a moment's hesitation he jumped in after her, and 
they both went over together. 

The American Falls are divided from the Horse- 
shoe or Canadian Falls by Goat Island, and between 
this and the American shore is another island. The 
channels between them are bridged over, so that you 
can drive from the mainland across to Goat Island. 
Some forty yards below the bridge which connects 
the two islands, and some fifty yards from the lip of 
the Falls beyond, is a stone rising above the water 
just large enough for a man to stand on. Last year, 
three men in a small boat were crossing the river a 
mile and a half above, when the current overpowered 
them and they were swept away ; the boat was 
carried under the bridge between the two islands. As 
it was hurried past, one of the three made a leap for 
life on to this stone, and gained it. The two others 
were carried over with the boat. 

For twenty hours the poor fellow sat on that stone, 
half-way between the bridge and the precipice, with 
the roar and the whirl of the waters surrounding 
him ; and thousands of people assembled to look at 
him, and wonder how he was to be saved. They 
made a raft, and tied a rope to it, and let it go 
gently down the current from the bridge. He got 
on the raft, and they began to haul it back against 

Fatal Accidents. 227 

the stream ; but it caught half-way upon a reef of 
rocks, and no exertions on the part of the man on it 
could get it over. Then they got a boat and lowered 
it down the current by a rope until the boat touched 
the raft. As the boat approached, he raised himself 
to step in ; the boat struck the raft more sharply 
than he expected, he lost his balance, fell back, and 
was carried over the Falls before them all. 

In winter the hills of frozen spray at the foot of 
the Falls, and great stalactites of icicles, are a sight 
in themselves ; but I should like to visit the Falls in 
summer, and see if the green leaves and the rainbows 
do anything to soften its terrors. In winter Niagara 
is almost appalling, and you can suppose it capable 
of anything. 

The desolation of our hotel was enlivened this 
evening by the arrival of a special engine, drawing 
a special train, part of which was the saloon carriage 
which the company had made for the Prince of 
Wales. It contained a large merry party of the rail- 
way company's employes, they had started some days 
before from Detroit for Rochester, at which place the 
silver wedding of the chief of the Goods Department 
had been duly celebrated, and the excursionists were 
now making their way home. This was nearly the 
last act of the play ; for after dinner they solemnly 
appointed a chairman and a secretary. The chairman 
then nominated a committee of three, who retired 

Q 2 


with the pen and ink into a private room, and 
shortly returned, having draughted a resolution of 
thanks to the company for having put the special 
train and saloon carriage at their disposal. The 
resolution was put to the vote, the ladies exclaim- 
ing, 'aye, aye, hear, hear,' and voting emphatically. 
The resolution was carried, and handed to the secre- 
tary. Then the chairman proposed a vote of thanks 
to the committee, and that was carried ; and finally 
a vote of thanks to the chairman was put and carried 
tumultuously, the ladies getting excited. Nobody 
proposed a vote of thanks to the secretary ; and I 
was getting quite sorry for him, when I recollected 
that they would probably stop and sup somewhere 
on the line, and have another meeting to ascertain 
that the secretary had copied the resolution correctly, 
and would then carry a vote of thanks for him. This 
is a free country, but they do things in due form and 
order. As Artemus Ward says, ' This earth revolves 
on its axis every twenty-four hours, subject to the 
constitution of the United States/ 

March 7, '6j, Thursday. 
A hopeless -looking snowy morning, but soon 
cleared up ; and we got a sleigh, and drove to ' The 
Whirlpool,' some five miles below the Falls, where 
the river fancies that it has run into a cul de sac, 
and has to turn at a sharp angle, and gets terribly 

The American Eagle. 229 

agitated about it. As we drove up to 'The Whirlpool,' 
an eagle came soaring over the bare tree-tops close 
to us. The eagles here catch fish, and have white 
heads ; from which I conclude that they are the 
bald-headed or fishiDg- eagle. Baldness and white- 
headedness being taken, for ornithological purposes, 
as the same thing. This bird looked nearly seven 
feet across the wings. It is not every tourist to 
whom it is granted to see the American eagle soaring 
over Niagara. 

When we found ourselves again on the second day 
going largely in for photographs and Indian notions, 
victims to the persuasive tongue of the fair Laura 
Davis, who rules the bazaar on the Canadian side, we 
concluded that it was time to go, and started at 4.45 
p.m. for Boston. 

March 8, '67, Friday. 

Commenced the day in a sleeping-car, passing 
from the State of New York into that of Massa- 
chusetts, in pronouncing which, always lay emphasis 
on the 'chew/ A distant view of a fine range of 
mountains to our left, the Adirondac, covered with 
snow. At each station a horse -treadmill pumps 
water or cuts up firewood for the engine. The horses 
who worked these looked to me especially intelligent, 
as though rather proud at having something to do 
with machinery ; regarding themselves in the light 


of mechanics when compared with other horses, who 
are mere agricultural labourers. Horses employed 
about railway stations in England sometimes wear 
the same look. 

At Springfield we passed the United States small- 
arms factory. A Springfield passenger informed me 
that great activity prevails at present, more than 
a thousand workmen being now employed in con- 
verting the Springfield rifles into breech-loaders; 
the fitters and filers working up to o o'clock every 
night, and on Saturdays until half-past 1 1 . 

Although the face of the country was covered 
with three inches of snow, it was apparent that it 
was more thickly populated, more carefully culti- 
vated, and more homelike, than any part of America 
we have yet seen. The war did not come near it. 
There is a painful sameness of design about the 
wooden houses. They certainly look as if the story 
was true, that in the New England States houses 
are made by contract by the mile, and cut off 
into lengths as wanted. And the sprightly young 
churches, composed of brick, wood, paint, and por- 
tico, are wanting in the air of venerable repose which 
envelopes the English village church made up of 
fragments of every style of architecture which has 
prevailed in the last seven centuries ; but there is 
plenty of vitality about the American churches. We 
passed 'Shaker Village,' without seeing anything 

The Museum, Cambridge. 231 

more remarkable than a traveller walking up to the 
station, drawing his portmanteau behind him on a 
little sleigh. We are in a land of sleighs ; from the 
waggon to the wheelbarrow, everything is on run- 
ners. Air the children have little sleighs to play 
with. Omnibuses and vehicles which in summer 
go on four wheels, in winter have two sets of run- 
ners ; the foremost pair turning in rounding a corner, 
as the front wheels of a carriage do. Arrived at the 
Parker House, Boston, at 5 p.m., after twenty-four 
hours in the train. 

March 9, '67, Saturday. 

Spent the whole day in leaving cards and paying 
visits, in which we were fortunate, for we found 
Professor Agassiz in the museum. He was rejoicing 
in his recent success in persuading Congress to 
allow a drawback of the duty on all alcohol required 
for scientific purposes. No small boon to a museum 
possessed of 9,000 species of fish, a larger number 
than is to be found in the united collections of Lon- 
don and Paris. Not that these 9,000 fish drink, but 
they have all to be preserved in spirits. We walked 
with him through the cellars filled with barrels and 
jars containing fish and mollusks, the spoils of his 
Brazilian expedition up the Hiver Amazon. All 
these have been described and classified, and cata- 
logued, and carefully preserved in spirits ; but until 

232 BOSTON. 

now the cost of alcohol has been too great to allow of 
their being properly displayed in separate jars. Now 
the great work of bottling them off will commence ; 
and I do not see how Congress, having granted the 
alcohol, can well refuse to build an additional wing 
to the museum in which the specimens can be pro- 
perly displayed. 

A private citizen of Boston, Mr. Thayer, defrayed 
the whole expense of the expedition up the Amazon, 
ship and crew, stores and provisions, alcohol and all. 
They were eighteen months gone, and returned 
with i, 800 new species of animals never before 
described by the natural historian. The harvest was 
enormous. From one small lake near the Amazon, 
which he described as really not much larger than a 
big pond, they drew to land two hundred new 
species. Professor Agassiz showed us his lecture- 
room, round the walls of which are arranged cases 
of specimens for the instruction of the students, 
selected by himself, as an abstract of the great 
scheme of organized life, rising from sponge and 
coral to man ; and drew our attention to the fact, 
that throughout the whole he had worked up in the 
same sequence the fossil and extinct together with 
the recent and living. His object has been to break 
down in the students' minds the distinction between 
fossil and living, and induce them to study all or- 
ganization past and present as one indivisible scheme. 

Professor Agassiz. 233 

During his visits to Charleston and the coast of 
Florida, the Professor has made beautiful collections 
of corallines ; the specimens of each being ranged 
according to growth, illustrating the development 
of the coral from the little germ to the perfect 
growth, with sections cut carefully to show the in- 
terior structure. Some of these specimens were valu- 
able from their ages being ascertained, they having 
been procured from, stones which had been sunk at 
particular dates. Here again Professor Agassiz has 
taken measures to give his students an accurate con- 
ception of the nature of the living coral. The coral as 
preserved in museums is only the stony skeleton of 
the living coralline. Above each species he had hung 
coloured drawings of the living animals, which had 
been made from life under his own supervision. He 
has amassed portfolio on portfolio of beautiful water- 
colour drawings, done on large sheets of cartridge- 
paper, illustrating, each upon a separate sheet, the 
development of a separate species of marine animal 
from the embryo to maturity, mollusks, and starfish, 
and jellyfish, and all strange sea-shapes that float 
or crawl, showing the gradual development of the 
different parts during growth. 

These are all the results of his own observation, 
and most of them unique drawings. It is to be 
hoped that some day these will be chromo-litho- 
graphed for the benefit of other museums. It is not 

234 BOSTON. 

pleasant to think of the possibility of such a series 
of drawings being destroyed by an accident. Con- 
sidering the work that Professor Agassiz has done, 
it seems hard that he should have to complain of 
wan b of assistance ; but he suffers much in this way. 
It takes at least a year's teaching to make an as- 
sistant of any value in museum work ; but when they 
have been a year with him they can get far higher 
salaries as teachers in schools, and colleges and 
lyceums, than the museum can afford to pay. When 
the war broke out, his assistants left him en masse. 
Were I a young student with a taste for natural 
history, I should like nothing better than to put my 
services for a couple of years at the disposal of Pro- 
fessor Agassiz. The grand bottling off of the fishes 
of the Amazon is a chance which does not occur 
every day, not to mention alcohol for scientific pur- 
poses free from duty. We saw one grey-haired old 
gentleman working zealously at his studies in the 
museum, and I could not help hoping that he had 
made a good start. It is a serious thing to begin 
late in life getting up natural history, with a pro- 
fessor at your side who for the last five years has 
been discovering three hundred and sixty-five new 
species every year. 

We left Professor Agassiz at his museum, and 
were fortunate again in our next call — finding Mr. 
Longfellow sitting in his library. He is naturally 

International Copyright. 235 

much interested in the agitation for an international 
copyright. His own theory of all that is required 
is very plain and simple. He would have it declared 
that all English copyrights shall henceforth be valid 
in America, and all American copyrights in England. 
Nothing is to be changed in the nature either of Ame- 
rican or of English copyright, only the area over 
which they run ; each is. henceforth to be valid where- 
ever the English language is spoken. If a man 
should assign his copyright generally, both English 
and American copyright would pass ; but he would 
be at liberty to part with one and keep the other, or 
to assign his American copyright to one publisher 
and his English to another. This is his programme, 
or, as they would say in this country, ' his platform/ 
and he seemed to be hopeful about it. 

"We returned from Cambridge to Boston, about 
three miles, by the street-car, and found the newsboys 
selling * The Great Fenian Outbreak in Ireland/ in 
all directions. 

March 10, '67, Sunday. 

There is some mystery about this hotel, ' The 
Parker House/ It seems to be agreed by all tra- 
vellers, that if it is not the best, it is as good as the 
best hotel in Boston ; while in Appleton's Guide-book 
its very existence is ignored. We have formed a 
very high opinion of it. 

236 BOSTON. 

Boston being a centre of spiritualism as well as 
of everything else, we went in the afternoon to Me- 
chanics' Hall, where we found a lady lecturing very 
eloquently and well to a more than respectable 
attentive audience of some 300 people. About half 
the audience were men and half women. The year 
1850 was the era of the great awakening of the 
world, when spiritualism arose. In 1867 will be 
the grand development of the new religion. Man's 
physical, intellectual, and moral being is now all out 
of joint. Spiritualism is a scientific religion, and will 
bring harmony into all things. I should have under- 
stood more about it, only under the same roof, in 
another large room of Mechanics' Hall, there was a 
Presbyterian meeting going on ; and the sound of 
the harmony of the Presbyterian hymns every now 
and then came through the wall, and distracted my 

We dined with Mr. L . It was a quiet Sun- 
day evening family gathering. ' Every man at this 
table fought for the North/ said our host, 'except 
myself;' and he would have done so too if his 
years had permitted. On the wall of the drawing- 
room hung a group of photographs collected within 
one frame, all wearing the uniform of the North, all 
relations or connections of the family, some who had 
not returned to join the family party again. Boston 
did her part manfully in the war as in everything else. 

The Free Schools. 237 

I have been struck with the difference of the hero- 
worship of the North and that of the South. In the 
hall or bar-room of every Southern hotel, on every 
steamboat, and in every public place, you find a 
picture of General Lee and often of General Beau- 
regard ; the honour is given to the leaders. But in 
the North the glory is attributed to 'our soldiers;' 
the battles were won by ' our boys/ Not even 
General Grant is esteemed in the North as Lee 
and Stonewall Jackson were enshrined in the hearts 
of the Southerners. 

March n, '67, Monday. 

To-day we were introduced to Mr. J. D. Philbrick, 
the active Superintendent of the Free Schools of 
Massachusetts, and improved our opportunities as 
far as time would allow. Of the practical value of 
a New England education, and the working of the 
system, we were of course not able to form an opinion. 
The theory of it, if I understand it rightly from 
Mr. Philbrick, is well worth an Englishman's con- 

The theory of Massachusetts is that the best edu- 
cation procurable in the State shall be given without 
payment to the children of the poorest man in the 
State. This, according to Mr. Philbrick, is an ac- 
complished fact. The State education is so good, 
that other schools do not pay. The State schools 

238 BOSTON. 

have killed off the private schools, just as the na- 
tional banks have extinguished the private banks. 
The proof is, that the best people in Boston send 
their children to the Free Schools. In the schools 
he took us to, the sons of the Governor of the State, 
and of the Chief Justice, and of rich citizens, as well 
as the children of the middle class and of the 
poor, sat together in the same classes ; and here and 
there he was able to point out a child with unmis- 
takeable negro features sitting with the rest. Here 
at Boston, far away from the South, is the only- 
instance we have yet seen of the negro being re- 
ceived on an actual equality with the white. Edu- 
cation has done it, and education alone can do it. 
The State schools are the best in the State, rich 
and poor alike send their children to them, and all 
classes are interested in upholding them. The 
schools are of three classes ; the Primary Schools, in 
which you see little ones of five or six years of age 
learning their letters. They pass by successive ex- 
aminations to the Grammar Schools, and thence to 
the High Schools. In the Primary Schools, the little 
boys and girls are mixed together in the same classes. 
In the higher schools, they are separated and taught 
in different school-houses. The richer scholars find 
their own books ; all other expenses are defrayed 
by a State Property Tax, to which all citizens are 
assessed who possess a certain amount of property, 

The Free Schools. 239 

whether they have ten children or none. The appli- 
cation of the money given by the State is entrusted 
to the School Committee of the District. In Boston 
the average cost annually to the State is about £4 per 
scholar. We were so struck by the well-dressed and 
generally respectable appearance of the children, that 
we inquired whether the very poorest classes were 
really represented there, and were assured that they 
were. Parents will undergo considerable privations in 
order to send their children decently dressed to school. 
No compulsion is used to induce parents to send 
their children to school, if they are really employed 
at home in helping to earn a living ; but the police 
have authority to afflict children who are found 
playing about the streets at an age when they ought 
to be at school, and to inquire of their parents why 
they are not sent ; and manufacturers are fineable 
who employ children without a certificate of their 
having been to school and passed their examinations. 
One of these Free Schools in Boston dates back to 
the fifth year after the foundation of the colony of 
Massachusetts. The Girls' Schools are established 
and conducted on the same system as the Boys' 
Schools ; and, so far as I understood, they receive 
the same education in all essentials. 

It can easily be imagined that to the citizens of 
Boston one of the most interesting events of the year 
is the annual School Festival, or grand commemoration 

240 BOSTON. 

of the common schools, which takes place every July. 
Benjamin Franklin, a native of Boston, brought up 
in the Free Schools, left £100 to the city in trust; 
the interest to be expended in the purchase of medals 
to be presented to the best scholars in the Free 
Schools of Boston ; and the list of Franklin medallists 
comprises the names of some of the most distinguished 
citizens of America. In Franklin's day, girls were 
not admitted to the schools. They were first allowed 
to come in summer time and occupy the seats of 
absent boys ; then they were permitted to come 
during eight months of the year ; and at length they 
made their footing good on an equality with the 
boys on all points, in their separate schools. The 
city now supplements the Franklin fund; and 
medals are given at the annual festival every year 
to the head scholars in each school, both to boys 
and girls. 

The festival is held in the Music Hall, the largest 
room in the town. The room is decorated with 
flowers, and the names and dates of all the schools 
are emblazoned on the walls. The School Board, 
the members of the City Government, the Heads of 
Departments, and the teachers of all the Public 
Schools are assembled. The medal-scholars for the 
year, and their happy parents, are present by invita- 
tion, and are addressed by the appointed orators. 
The conclusion of Mr. Wendell Phillips' speech at 

Schools Festival. 241 

the last festival will give an idea of what a Boston 
boy has to say on such occasions : — 

' Remember, boys, what fame it is you bear up, — this old name of 
Boston. A certain well-known poet says it is the hub of the uni- 
verse. Well, this is a gentle and generous satire. In revolutionary 
days, they talked of the Boston revolution. When Samuel Johnson 
wrote his work against the American colonies, it was Boston he 
ridiculed. When the King could not sleep o' nights, he got up and 
muttered ' Boston. 1 When the proclamation pardon was issued, 
the only two excepted were the two Boston fanatics — John Han- 
cock and Sam. Adams. But what did Boston do 1 They sent 
Hancock to Philadelphia to write his name first on the Declara- 
tion of Independence in letters large enough, almost, for the King 
to read on the other side of the ocean. Boston then meant Inde- 
pendence. Come down eighty years. What did Boston mean when 
the South went mad and got up a new flag, and said they would 
plant it over Faneuil Hall 1 Then Boston meant Liberty, as Boston 
had meant Independence. And when our troops went out in the 
recent war, what was it that gave them their superiority 1 It was 
the brains they carried from these schools. When General Butler 
was stopped near the Relay House with a broken locomotive, he 
turned to the Eighth regiment and asked if any man could mend it. 
A private walked out of the ranks, patted it on the back, and said : 
" I ought to be able ; I made it." When we went down to Charles- 
ton, and were kept seven miles off from the city, the Yankees sent 
down a Parrott gun, made by a Portsmouth boy, that would send a 
two-hundred pound shot seven miles into their streets. The great 
ability of New England has been proved. 

' Now, boys, " the glory of a father is his children." That father 
has done his work well who has left a child better than himself. 
The German prayer is : " Lord, grant I may be as well off to- 
morrow as yesterday ! " No Yankee ever uttered that prayer. He 
always means that his sons should have a better starting-point in 
life than himself. " The glory of a father is his children." Our 
fathers made themselves independent seventy or eighty years ago. 
It remains for us to devote ourselves to liberty and the welfare of 


242 BOSTON. 

others with the generous willingness to be and to do towards others 
as we would have others do to us. The good Book says " the 
glory of children are their fathers." The old Greek said, you re- 
member, " the trophies of Miltiades will not let me sleep." The 
French proverb has it, " Noblesse oblige" — our fathers were so good 
that we must be like them from pure shame. 

' Now, boys, this is my lesson to you to-day, stated as an Irishism : 
You are not as good as your fathers unless you are better. You have 
your fathers' example — the opportunities and advantages they have 
accumulated — and to be only as good is not good enough. You 
must be better. You must copy only the spirit of your fathers, and 
not their imperfections. There was an old Boston merchant, years 
ago, who wanted a set of China made in Canton. You know that 
Boston men, sixty years ago, looked at both sides of a cent before 
they spent it ; and if they earned twelve cents they would save 
eight. He could not spare a whole plate to send as a pattern, so 
he sent a cracked one, and when he received the set there was 
a crack in every piece. The Chinese had imitated the pattern 
exactly. Do not copy our defects. Be better than we are. We 
have invented a telegraph, but what of that 1 I expect, if I live 
forty years, to see a telegraph that will send messages without wire, 
both ways at the same time. If you do not invent it, you are not 
as good as we are. You are bound to go ahead of us. The old 
London physician said the way to be well was to live on a sixpence 
and earn it. That is education under the laws of necessity. We 
cannot give you that. Underneath you is the ever- watchful hand 
of city culture and wealth. All the motive we can give you is the 
name you bear. Bear it nobly ! I was in the West, where they 
partly love and partly hate the Yankee. A man undertook to ex- 
plain the difference between the time in Boston and in Chicago. 
It was but a bungling explanation at best. He asked me what 
I thought of it. I replied, " Not much." He said, " Oh, yes, you 
Boston men always think you know more than anybody else." I 
replied, " Not at all ; we only know what we profess to know." 
That is Boston. What Boston claims you should know, know it. 
Boston has set the example of doing ; do better. 

' Sir Robert Feel said in the last hour of his official life — just after 
removing the bread-tax, — " I shall leave office severely censured ; I 

Institute of Technology. 243 

shall leave a name execrated by every monopolist ; but it may be 
that I shall leave a name sometimes remembered with expressions 
of good-will in the abodes of those whose lot it is to earn their 
daily bread by the sweat of their brows, when they shall recruit 
their exhausted strength with abundant and untaxed food, the 
sweeter because it is no longer leavened by the sense of injustice." 
Such are the deeds which make life worth living, and fully repay 
all we can do for you. 

' Fellow-citizens, — The warmest compliment to us, ever I heard, 
was breathed into my ears from the lips of a fugitive slave from South 
Carolina. " At home," he said, " we used to thank God for Boston, 
and pray that we might walk its street before we died." Boston has 
meant liberty and protection. See to it in all coming time, young 
men and women, you make it stand for good learning, upright 
character, sturdy love of liberty, willingness to be and do for others 
as you would have others be and do unto you. But make it, young 
men and women, — make it a dread to every man who seeks to do 
evil ! Make it a home and a refuge for the oppressed of all lands !' 

Mr. Philbrick took us also to another Institution, 
recently established, in which Boston is showing us 
the way. It is a fine building, just completed, bear- 
ing the mysterious name of ' The Institute for Tech- 
nology/ being, in fact, a superior development of the 
Working-man s College idea. The scholar leaves the 
High School about the age of sixteen. He chooses 
his work in life, and at the Institute can carry on his 
education with special reference to the profession 
he has chosen. The course lasts for four years. The 
fees for the first year are ioo dollars ; for the second, 
125 dollars, and for the third and fourth years, 150 
dollars each. The city gave the land as a free gift ; 
the fine building was built, furnished and fitted with 

r 2 

244 BOSTON. 

all the necessary scientific apparatus by the volun- 
tary contributions of the citizens of Boston. 

The students can attend lectures, offer themselves 
for examination, and obtain diplomas in any one or 
more of the six leading divisions of the School, viz. 
Mechanical Engineering, Civil and Topographical 
Engineering, Practical Chemistry, Geology and Min- 
ing Engineering, Building and Architecture, or 
Science and Literature. This last includes the study 
of general and comparative Grammar in connection 
with the English, the French, and the German 
languages ; but Latin and Greek are rather at a 
discount in Boston, banished, in fact, over the water 
to Cambridge. Only a month or two ago Mr. Jacob 
Bigelow, one of the Vice-Presidents of the Institute, 
fired a long-range pamphlet across the harbour after 
them, entitled 'Kemarks on Classical and Utilitarian 
Studies,' well worth reading. 

We visited also another grand supplement to the 
Free School system, the free library at Bates' Hall. 
The library is open to all to go in, sit down, and 
read. Man or woman, citizen or stranger, rich or 
poor, black or white, may go in and read any one 
of the 15,000 volumes he likes to ask for. He cannot 
take any book out of the building without a note of 
recommendation from some citizen of Boston. The 
standard works and books of reference are kept on 
the first-floor, and may be consulted by anybody but 

Free Library. 245 

removed by nobody. The greater part of the work 
of the library is done by women. The per-centage of 
loss and damage to books is not greater than in the 
University Library at Harvard, Cambridge. I saw 
the most ragged little boy I have seen in Boston 
sitting on a bench reading Macmillan's Magazine. 
No doubt his parents were too poor to send him 
decently to school, and he was pursuing his educa- 
tion at the free library. 

Boston education cannot be laughed at ; it is a 
fact. Those who carry Reform Bills have got to look 
into it, and go and do likewise. And they will get 
every information from the obliging Mr. Philbrick, 
who is ready and willing to instruct them, as he 
has already instructed Mr. Fraser and several other 
inquiring Englishmen. I did not stop long enough 
to ascertain what the value of the education received 
may be, or the standard of attainment ; but I pre- 
sume that Mr. Philbrick does not exaggerate when he 
says that the poorest man in Boston can obtain for 
his children, without paying one cent, the same edu- 
cation with which the richest are content. 

Another thing worthy the traveller's notice in 
Boston is the system of fire-alarms. The central 
station in the top story of the City Hall in the 
middle of the town is fitted with an elaborate electric 
telegraph apparatus. In different parts of the town 
are 175 fire-alarm boxes let into the walls of the 

246 BOSTON. 

houses, like letter-boxes. When a fire occurs in one 
of the 175 districts, the alarmist runs to the nearest 
box and moves a handle, which notifies the fact to 
the clerk in charge of the wires at the central office. 
From the City Hall five circuits of telegraph wire 
radiate like the arms of a star-fish to different parts 
of the town, going from steeple to steeple, and com- 
municating with the church clocks. If the alarm 
comes from district No. 175, each church clock strikes 
one and a pause, seven and a pause, and then five ; 
whereupon the steam fire-engines light their fires, 
which are ready laid, put to their horses, which are 
ready harnessed, and by the time they reach district 
No. 175 have got the steam up and are ready to 
begin work. This is all kept up at the expense of 
the city ; and the firemen are a trained corps, and 
not volunteers. Fires do not get a fair start in Bos- 
ton, and the result is, that the town has been free 
from those terrible conflagrations which too often 
sweep like prairie fires through the great cities of 

One of the most conspicuous of the buildings sur- 
rounding Boston common, is the Masonic Hall. The 
Freemasons in America are a more numerous and 
powerful body than they are in the old country, and 
have a multitude of distinguished brothers in their 
ranks, from the President downwards. They have 
a Masonic Hall of more or less pretension in every 

Skeleton of Mammoth. 247 

large city, but in their exploits in architecture are 
singularly unsuccessful. The Brother who planned 
this particular Masonic Hall is said to have been so 
overpowered by the creation of his own brain, that 
before the roof was completed he retired into a Lu- 
natic Asylum. 

March n, '6j, Tuesday. 

Visited Dr. Warren's Museum, where there is an 
almost perfect skeleton of an enormous mammoth. 
The extinct elephant seems to have frequented Mas- 
sachusetts. One even larger than this was lately dug 
up not far from Troy. There the skeleton was buried 
in a very curious tomb. The deep hole in the rock 
from which the skeleton was dug out was about 
twenty feet in diameter, circular as a well, with 
smooth perpendicular walls. The theory invented to 
account for it was, that it had been drilled by 
a revolving eddy in an angle of some river, like the 
whirlpool below Niagara ; and a natural shaft sunk 
by the sand and small pebbles continually moving 
round. To this spot the carcase of the extinct 
elephant had been floated down, and been whirled 
round in the eddy until it sank into the grave below 
prepared for it. The most incredible fact is, that 
having found this remarkable hole with an extinct 
elephant in it, the explorers had not sufficient curi- 
osity to dig down to the bottom ; and it is impossible 


to say how many more mammoths there may be in 
the hole still. Americans regard the mammoth with 
a certain degree of pride, as a beast whose size 
was a credit to the great country in which he lived. 
They do not take much interest in the European 

March 12, '67, Wednesday. 
We plodded up and down in the snow in the 
University of Harvard, Cambridge, seeing men and 
things under very unfavourable circumstances. We 
called upon Mr. Lowell, the author of the Biglow 
Papers, and met Mr. Holmes, who talked as only an 
'Autocrat of the Breakfast Table' can; and came 
finally to the conclusion that it is a great mistake on 
the part of any traveller to suppose that he can see 
all that is worth seeing in the town of Boston, or can 
make himself acquainted with all that is worth 
knowing in Boston society, in the space of one week. 
For an American tour a whole year is required. In 
summer time it is too hot to go South, in winter too 
cold to go North ; and out of that year a whole 
month can be very profitably spent at Boston. 

March 14, '67, Friday. 

Started from Boston by rail at 2.30 p.m., and 
arrived a second time at Philadelphia, having run 
through New York without the opportunity of 

Free Schools. 249 

getting our letters. When we were here in Decern- 
ber the city was glazed with ice ; now all the country 
is covered with four inches of snow, and more coming 
down. We had come to avail ourselves of an intro- 
duction to Mr. Shippen, the Superintendent of the 
Board of Comptrollers of Education in Philadelphia. 
Mr. Shippen is a practising barrister, who for love of 
a good cause, and for love only, without any pay, 
superintends the management of all the free schools 
of the city. Both at Boston and Philadelphia there 
is an immense amount of gratuitous work done in the 
cause of education by the best men in the place ; it 
embraces all classes in one interest, and all co-operate 

Boston seemed to have the advantage in some 
points. I doubt whether the richest and the poorest 
classes are brought together into the free schools at 
Philadelphia as completely as they are in New Eng- 
land. In Philadelphia the negroes are more nu- 
merous than they are in Boston, and are taught in 
separate schools. The Boston school-houses are larger 
and finer than those at Philadelphia ; but this will 
not long be the case, as the city of Philadelphia is at 
this moment engaged in building no less than thirty- 
four new school-houses. In the Boston schools every 
child has a separate seat and separate desk ; in 
Philadelphia they sit by twos. 

In each the young girls receive practically the same 


education as the boys. As far as teaching goes, the 
girls leave school equally fitted with the boys for 
entering upon any trade or profession, and equally 
prepared for receiving the franchise. We heard a 
class of girls in one of the High Schools examined 
in the Constitution of the United States, which they 
had at their fingers' ends, chapter and verse, and 
were as well qualified to impeach a President or admit 
a Territory to the rank of a State, as Mr. Ashley or 
General Butler. 

It is to this similarity of education among boys 
and girls that I attribute the status which women 
occupy here in all ranks of society. Tennyson 
affirms that 

' Woman is not undeveloped man, 
But diverse. Could we make her as the man, 
Sweet Love were slain, whose dearest bond is this, 
Not like to like, but like in difference.' 

In America they do not believe him. As far as my 
small experience goes, I remarked that the ladies sat 
longer after dinner than they usually do with us, and 
that the gentlemen sat a shorter time than we do after 
the ladies had departed. Nor was there any of that 
sudden change of topics and plunge into politics, 
literature, or shop, as soon as the gentlemen were 
left to themselves. It is assumed that American 
ladies are taking an interest in all the life that is 
going on around them ; one consequence of which is, 

Status of Women. 251 

that the stranger will sometimes be astonished at 
their touching without reserve upon all manner of 
topics which English ladies would ignore. Another 
remarkable result is the apparently total abolition of 
the chaperone, and a much greater independence in 
going about without an escort. A pretty woman 
can walk along Broadway by herself at any reason- 
able hour, and no one will annoy her — can as much 
be said for Eegent Street or the Boulevarts % If 
a woman gets into one of the street cars, she obtains 
a seat directly. If the car is at all crowded, the 
nearest geDtleman gives up his seat to her, be she 
old or young. The custom is the same in the 
railway cars. 

The ladies are not very much oppressed in England, 
since we have given up selling our wives at Smith- 
field, and they have a good time of it in Paris ; but 
it would not be at all surprising if they get their 
heads turned before long in America, and seek the 
franchise. Suppose they demand it, who shall say 
them nay % Suppose, after ruminating for a year or 
two on the insult implied by the negro's admission to 
the franchise from which the white woman is ex- 
cluded, the women were to secede, how would the 
United States feel then \ 

One great security of the male sex arises from the 
want of unanimity among the ladies ; they would 
never obey their generals, or agree in Caucus as to 


their line of policy. Another security lies in this, 
that the greater number see their way more clearly 
to individual power in the exercise of the domestic 
veto ; and these might at a critical moment be in- 
duced to desert the cause by an eligible offer from 
one of the enemy. The ladies have the power now 
without the responsibility ; the reddest of republicans 
may be influenced by a curtain lecture, which would 
not have the slightest effect upon him when delivered 
from a rostrum. And yet I doubt if the women of 
America do interfere much in politics. Politics are 
man's work in war time. I should like to have the 
evidence of some experienced diplomatists on this 
point, whether women have not much more influence 
over politics in France than in America. 

Oue great reason why all classes co-operate in 
America so strenuously in the cause of education is, 
that the money so spent is regarded by all who are 
taxed for it as so much money spent on an insurance 
against revolution. As Daniel Webster once put it : — 

' We hope for a security beyond the law and above the law, in the 
prevalence of enlightened and well-principled moral sentiment. We 
hope to continue and to prolong the time when in the villages and 
farm-houses there may be undisturbed sleep within unbarred doors. 
We do not indeed expect all men to be philosophers or statesmen ; 
but we confidently trust — and our expectation of the duration of our 
system of government rests upon the trust — that by the diffusion of 
general knowledge, and good and virtuous sentiments, the political 
fabric may be secure, as well against open violence and overthrow, 
as against the slow but sure undermining of licentiousness.' 

Education is Insurance. 253 

It is only those who have property above a certain 
amount who are called on to pay the State Educa- 
tion tax. Under universal suffrage, unless those who 
possess the franchise are sufficiently educated to see 
that a career is open to their talents, and that it is 
therefore for their interest to maintain the stability of 
property, revolution would be instantaneous. But 
give the poor voter education in a country where 
the poorest man never despairs of dying a millionaire, 
and property is safe enough. 

When Abraham Lincoln was President and pojDU- 
lar, it was the fashion to believe in children of nature 
who were born great generals and mighty politicians ; 
but now Andrew Johnson is particularly unpopular, 
the world is beginning to think that a little more 
culture is desirable, for a President at any rate. 

In some of the New England States the svstem of 
a gradation of free Schools is supplemented by a free 
State University, to which pupils who give promise of 
talent are promoted from the High Schools in order to 
carry their education further. The idea is being ven- 
tilated now of a central Federal University, to which 
the select of the select are to be promoted from the 
State universities ; in which emulation would be 
carried to its highest point, and North and South 
would meet in rivalry ; and to which America would 
look for a supply of young statesmen, as China is 
said to select her mandarins. 


March 16, '67, Saturday. 

Mr. F. took us to see the almshouse of the city of 
Philadelphia, probably the largest almshouse in the 
world. It contained to-day 3,400 inmates. None of 
the inmates were born Americans, about half, we 
were told, were Irish. Every apparently poor man 
who applies is taken in without any question being 
asked as to his nation or his parish. It is like the 
Albergo di Poveri at Genoa, in that it is a refuge for 
every kind of affliction. It is a Lying-in Hospital, and 
a Locke Hospital, and a Foundling Hospital, and an 
Insane Asylum. There were within the walls to-day 
559 insane poor, almost all either Germans or Irish. 
I am almost sorry we went, as I had heard so much 
from other travellers of its comfort and its cleanliness 
and good feeding, and we visited it on a bleak snowy 
day on a Saturday when it was all in disorder. 

It is no doubt a grand institution ; but to me the 
enormous assemblage of poverty and disease was 
quite overpowering : we passed through a corridor 
of ricketty and scrofulous children ; we visited the 
foundling ward, where there were, I think, ten poor 
little babies sleeping together with their heads on 
one long pillow. We visited the carpenter's shop 
where the great manufactory was one of young 
childrens' coffins, with little variety of size. The idiot 
children who came up and begged for cents were 

The Almshouse. 255 

saddening ; the room full of blind old women sitting 
two and two ; the room full of revolting old negresses 
who were being fed with a spoon ; the long corridors 
of lunatics lying and squatting on the floor in every 
wild and statuesque attitude, some with the faces 
of the damned ; little sleeping-cells open from the 
corridor, and from these you heard now and then a 
scream or a sob from one who had gone to lie down 
on her bed ; — the whole made such an impression on 
me, that I never had such blue blues in my life, as 
when we walked out ancle -deep into the falling 

There was a curious trial going on, a man para- 
lysed in the left side being tried for the murder of 
a woman ; so we went to the court to cheer ourselves 
with that. Mr. Mann, the district Attorney-General, 
was concluding his reply upon the evidence for the 
defence with a peroration far more violent against 
the prisoner than is usual in an English prosecuting 
counsel. The jury retired to consider their verdict 
at 4 p.m., and 5.30 p.m. was appointed as the time 
at which they were to bring in their verdict. As I 
was informed, they agreed very quickly that the 
prisoner was guilty, and dined together in the jury- 
room before returning to court. 

Started by the midnight train, and arrived at New 
York at 6 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. our proper time, in 
consequence of the snow. We arrived at the end of 


our journey with a bump, which sent the head of a 
gentleman, who was looking out of the window at the 
end of the car, straight through a pane of glass. He 
held his head down for a few moments, in order that 
the blood might not drip upon his clothes, and rubbed 
his nose tenderly ; but came finally to the correct 
conclusion that there was no blood flowing, and that 
he was not hurt at all. We have travelled now 
3,112 miles over the American railroads, and this jolt 
has been the nearest thing to an accident that has 
befallen us. Taking into consideration the facts, that 
on many of these lines the rails have been repeatedly 
torn up during the war, and that an enormous 
amount of war material has been carried over them, 
without any great repairs to the permanent way, 
this says something for the steadiness of American 
engine-drivers, who are not generally supposed to be 
careful. The pace seldom exceeds twenty-five miles 
an hour, and the rails are generally so slight that 
a greater speed would be unsafe. 

March 18, '67, Monday. 
We did not do much in New York durino- the 
two days preceding our departure. The first was 
St. Patrick's Day, and the streets were filled with 
processions of Irishmen following banners and 
decorated with green scarves, marching to join the 
great procession which defiled past the front of the 

St. Patrick's Day. 257 

City Hall before the Mayor and Corporation. The 
procession was headed by six cannon, and escorted 
by marshals on horseback with drawn swords. The 
newspaper stated that 30,000 men marched in the 
procession; all whom I saw were well-dressed, re- 
spectable-looking men. 

The police of New York at one time were allowed 
by the corporation to fall into such a state of ineffi- 
ciency, that the State of New York took the matter 
into their own hands, and the present police are a 
splendid body of men. Each carries a truncheon of 
heavy wood, and in his pocket a revolver, and they 
shoot very straight and without any hesitation. As 
the Government of New York is entirely in the 
hands of the Irish, it was probable that there would 
be a row on St. Patrick's Day, and there was. The 
great procession was brought to a standstill in 
Grand Street by a carman coming out of a bye- 
street, and cutting the line. He did not get out 
of the way quick enough to please the votaries of 
St. Patrick, so they jumped on the car, and jumped 
on the carman. The police came to the rescue, and 
the marshals rode up. In the row three or four of 
the police were badly hurt, several of them being cut 
down by the marshals with their swords. The New 
Yorkers have not forgotten the riots which took 
place here on the occasion of the first drawing of 
the conscription, when the city was set on fire in 


258 NEW YORK. 

half-a-dozen places, and was for two days in the hands 
of the mob. Nor have the mob forgotten the way in 
which they were fired upon and bayonetted by the 
troops. The composition of this city is curious ; it is 
the largest Irish, and the third largest German city 
in the world ; the analysis of the rest would fill 
a good many pages. 

March 19, '67, Tuesday. 

Called on a merchant of New York, who expressed 
himself very freely d propos of the riot of yesterday. 
He had resided in America many years, and is no 
admirer of the present rampant republicanism. He 
thought things were going from bad to worse, and said 
that, in his opinion, America was the worst governed 
nation, and New York the worst governed city in 
the world. He holds that the boundless natural 
wealth and resources of the country are the sole 
springs of American greatness, which will always 
carry the nation onwards and upwards in spite of 
the republicans, who are an invention of the devil 
for the purpose of spending the gold and depreciating 
the greenbacks. The moral of which is, that if you 
wish to form a good opinion of American nationality 
and municipal institutions, you must not stop too 
long in New York. 

Home again. 259 

March 20, '6j, Wednesday. 

Sailed from America by the ' Cuba,' the same 
vessel we had come in. After all the expectation of a 
crush for the Paris Exhibition, we had but sixty-nine 
passengers on board. Trade has not been good lately, 
and the number of American visitors will not come 
up to the expectations of the Parisians. The equi- 
noctial gales spared us, and the four newly-married 
couples on board were as happy as they could be 
under the circumstances ; but, although we carried 
Sir E. Cunard himself, it was the twelfth day out 
from New York before we landed on the shore of 
Old England. 

s 2 




At the time the war broke out, it is estimated that 
there were, roughly speaking, 4,000,000 slaves in 
the Southern States. Their former masters state, 
and I believe with truth, that the slaves as a rule 
were neither over-worked nor treated with cruelty. 
It is absurd to suppose the contrary. That which is 
valuable and cannot be easily replaced is always 
taken care of. It is where there are no restrictions 
upon the importation, and the supply is abundant, 
as in the Chinese coolie trade, that you find the 
temptation to cruelty not over-ridden by self-interest. 
It is difficult also, I believe, to gainsay the position, 
that nowhere where the negro is left to himself in 
Africa has he reached any higher stage of civilization 
than he possessed as a Southern slave. His hours 
of labour were shorter and his diet more plentiful, 
than those of the English agricultural labourer. He 
had such clothing and shelter as the climate required. 
The slaves of the planter were in the same position 
as the cattle of the English farmer ; and the interest 


that the farmer has in seeing his beasts well cared 
for operated in favour of the negro slave as strongly 
as it does in favour of all other chattels. It was the 
interest of the planter that, as long as his slaves 
were fit for work, they should be kept in working 
order ; that as children they should be so reared 
as to make them strong and healthy ; and when 
they were past work, that kindly feeling which a 
man always has towards everything which he calls 
his own, was sufficiently strong to ensure them a 
sustenance in old age. No doubt there were some- 
times wicked cases of wanton cruelty, which were 
not common, and were exceptional as the cases are 
in this country which are brought into court by the 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. I 
am willing to accept the Southerners' statement that 
as regards health, happiness, education, and morality, 
the negro-slaves were as well off as any other 
4,000,000 of their race. That the slaves were not 
greatly discontented with their lot seems clear from 
the fact that the traveller can with difficulty find in 
the South an able-bodied white man who did not bear 
arms in the Confederate army. When the masters went 
to the war, they in fact left their wives, their children, 
and their goods in the keeping of their slaves. The 
plantations were left in charge of the old men, the 
women and children ; yet, during the war, the crops 
were sown and harvested as when the masters were 

His former Content. 265 

at home ; and there were no outrages or insurrections 
on the plantations, except when the Northern armies 
passed by. 

The position taken by the ablest apologists for the 
slave-owner would affirm that the treatment of the 
slaves was nearly as good as the fact of their slavery 
admitted ; that the institution was not created by 
the present generation, but by their forefathers. 
' They had not originated, but inherited it, and had 
to make the best of it. It was in no way peculiar 
to the Southern States of America ; it had existed 
over the whole world. It was a condition of society 
recognised by the Old Testament as the natural state 
of things, and when mentioned in the New Testa- 
ment, not reprobated. It had been abolished by 
some nations, it was still retained by others. It was 
retained by the Southern States, because they had 
no other labour to substitute for it, and if the negro 
was emancipated it would not be possible to rely 
upon his labour. The civilization of the white race 
is the result of more than a thouand years of trial 
and training. The negro race was in the first stage 
of this probation ; they had not yet completed their 
first century of slavery. Those among them who 
possessed industry and steadiness of character could 
earn enough to purchase their emancipation. None 
of them were fitted to receive the franchise/ 

It is hardly worth while to consider how far it 


is true that slavery is a probation for the first steps 
in civilization, an education for future self-govern- 
ment. It may, I think, be taken as a fact that, 
before the war, such speculations as to the future 
of the negro race did not occupy the minds of 
Southern planters more than the British stock- 
breeder is at present influenced by Dr. Darwin's 

Nor is it worth while to consider how far it was 
probable, if the North had never interfered with the 
strong hand, that a gradual emancipation would have 
taken place in time. The only existing safety-valve 
through which the slave could escape into free- 
dom was by purchase, and on that safety-valve 
was this weight — the more industrious the man the 
more valuable the slave. The living surrounded by 
slave-labour had so affected the Southern character 
that it was not easy for them to appreciate the 
benefits which a gradual emancipation wuold have 
brought about. They laughed at the doctrine of the 
dignity of labour. Hard hands and the sweat of the 
brow were the portion of the slave, servile. With 
the lower class of white men who owned no slaves, 
emancipation was disliked because it would raise the 
servile race to an equality with themselves. The 
slave -owners saw clearly that, however gradually 
brought about, emancipation would result in loss 
to them ; for free labour, however competitive, can 

Effect of Slavery on the Master. 267 

never be as profitable to the master as slave-labour 
has been — capital would have to give up a larger 
share of profits to the workman. The hearts of the 
white race were hardened, and it may be doubted 
whether they would ever have seen that the time 
had come when the bondmen ought to be let go. 
They saw only that the slaves were not discontented 
with their lot, and that all things were prosperous. 

The institution of slavery broke down in the I 
Southern States of America, not by reason of any 
injustice to the negroes, but in consequence of the 
effect produced by slavery upon the character and 
temper of the white race. It rendered them in- 
capable of maintaining a friendly intercourse with 
the Northern States. 

The Northern half of the same nation were leading 
under a colder sky an entirely antagonistic life. They 
were successful in commerce, they toiled in factories, 
and reaped with their own hands great harvests of 
wheat. They were continually increased in numbers 
by emigrants whose chief fortune was the labour 
of their hands ; while many of the families in the 
South traced their descent to emigrants who had 
landed with their retainers from vessels fitted out 
at their own cost. Except the great bond of the 
Federal Government, which was tied when neither 
were strong enough to stand alone, the Northern 
and Southern States had few ideas in common. 


When they met in council they disagreed upon the 
most indifferent matters. They did not so much 
quarrel about slavery, as because slavery had ren- 
dered them at heart hateful to one another. 

With the declaration of war the veil dropped from 
the South. That which had been disguised as half 
a republic, was an aristocracy of race based upon 
slavery. In the pride of their hearts the South 
began the war, more than half in the belief that the 
North would never fight. They met soon army to 
army ; and at first, before the troops on either side 
were disciplined, the Northern lines were broken to 
pieces by the charges of the Southerners. With dis- 
cipline came stubbornness and self-reliance, and battles 
more and more sternly contested. Several battles 
lasted for three days and more. 

There were instances in the war in which the 
same regiments were brought three times into action 
on three consecutive days, suffering terribly each 
time. But in the South the army was recruited 
from but one class, the dominant class, the white 
race ; whereas the Northern army drew its strength 
not only from all classes but from an emigration con- 
tributed by all nations. Even without the blockade 
the odds were fearfully in favour of the North, and 
when General Grant took the command and grasped 
the fact that it was not by strategy but by hard 
fighting that the struggle was to be won, it became 

Since Emancipation. 269 

merely a question of time how soon the brave South 
would gasp its last. 

It is considered that of the 4,000,000 negroes 
1,000,000 have perished since their emancipation. 
They were without habits of prudence and fore- 
thought, and labour had been the badge of their ser- 
vility. They were ignorant and helpless. Their first 
impulse when set free was to wander away from the 
old homes and see the world. They could not realize 
that they were free upon the plantations where they 
had toiled as slaves. Then they soon gravitated to 
the larger cities, where vice and want made terrible 
havoc among them. 

They felt the instinct which is said to drive all 
loose population without anchor westward. It is 
computed that 37,000 negroes have moved from 
South Carolina to Mississippi and Texas. It requires 
the energy of the white man to strike out for the 
far West at once. 

Not only were they thinned by death, but they 
ceased to multiply as before. As long as there was 
a profit in rearing them, the masters took care that 
the women were attended to in child-birth, and the 
babies properly nourished. In some parts the rearing 
of slaves for sale was the most profitable business 
of the plantation. Just as Kentucky supplies other 
States with mules, so one chief source of wealth in 
Virginia was the breeding slaves for the Southern 


States. After the emancipation it was nobody's 
interest that the little children should be cared for. 
Babies were an incumbrance in wandering about ; 
the maternal instincts were weak ; life had no great 
charms for them, and infanticide became terribly 
common. The year after Mr. Lincoln proclaimed 
emancipation, there were more black babies floating 
down the Mississippi river than there were aged 
Hindoos in the Granges. The little children died off 
more rapidly than the adults. 

The mortality has been so great, that some have 
predicted a solution of the negro difficulty in the dis- 
appearance of the whole coloured race in the next 
fifty years. This would be a melancholy fiasco; but 
ungrateful captives when set free sometimes do refuse 
to live, although toils and dangers have been incurred 
by their deliverers. Even in New York and Phila- 
delphia there are not now nearly as many negroes 
as there were before the war. In the parts where 
they have lived in the greatest security during 
the war, and where they may be supposed to have 
congregated, and where the largest subscriptions were 
raised to preserve them from famine, they have been 
fading away. In the colder climate of the Northern 
States, after a generation or two the coloured families 
die out. Still there are many hopeful symptoms. 
In the first place, the freedmen in the Southern 
States are gradually settling down to labour, to 

Free Labour. 271 

which at first they were very averse. There seemed 
at first to be insuperable difficulties in the way 
of organizing free labour. Its practice was not 
understood by the labourer, nor its theory by the 
master. It seemed to be impossible to adjust the 
rate of wages equitably, and there was no money 
in the country to pay them with. The freedman's 
bureau undertook to make contracts between em- 
ployer and employed. The freedman had no faith 
in the justice of his employer, and the employer 
no belief in the justice of the bureau. Contracts 
were made for the division of the crop between the 
employers and the labourers ; this necessitated ad- 
vances by the employer to enable the labourer to live ; 
and this resulted in the labourer disappearing as soon 
as he got tired of work. If they worked together 
until the crop was got in, disputes often arose over 
the division of the profits. 

Speculators from the North came and got together 
bands of freedmen by promises of high pay, and 
attempted to let out their labour to the neighbouring 
planters. Sometimes these men were unable to suc- 
ceed in obtaining lands or contracts for cultivation, 
after which the speculator disappeared, and the freed- 
men dispersed more suspicious and dissatisfied than 
ever. Sometimes neighbouring planters combined 
together to keep down the rate of wages, five dollars 
a month, in some instances, being fixed on as the 


highest rate of wages to be paid, and the freedman's 
bureau interfered with the combination. The la- 
bourers sought work only because they were in 
want of food, and the land-owners were all but 
bankrupt. Both parties were full of suspicion of 
one another, and entirely without experience, and 
there existed no customs of hiring and service to 
guide them. No wonder the land-owners and la- 
bourers and the freedman's bureau all spoke evil of 
one another. 

Very gradually experience and a better knowledge 
of one another is removing this state of things ; but 
the rate of wages is still very low, and such labour 
as is worth paying for is very difficult to procure. 
Perhaps the greatest difficulty of all is the want of 
capital. Ruined men are still clinging to their lands. 
By the end of three years, it is said that more than 
half the land in the South must change hands. Mort- 
gagees are foreclosing everywhere. On the banks of 
the Mississippi and along the Bayou Tesch plan- 
tations are selling at considerably less than one half 
their price before the war. Ee-establish the labour 
market, and they are worth their former value. The 
heavens themselves have been unpropitious. Last 
year's crops were generally bad ; drought burnt up 
the corn, and the worm ravaged the cotton crop. We 
are apt sometimes when in want of other ideas to 
talk too much about the weather ; but we sometimes 

Spread of Education. 273 

attribute effects to political agencies which are 
brought about chiefly by the skyey influences. If the 
seasons of harvests of the last three years had been 
as propitious as those of the three preceding years, 
the present negro census would stand very differently 
from what it does. The stars in their courses have 
rained down evil influences ; and a succession of bad 
harvests followed the enfranchisement of a race of im- 
provident slaves. Of war, famine, and pestilence, 
famine has been the most deadly enemy of these un- 
fortunates, and the glorious promise of the present 
year's harvest is matter for thanksgiving. 

Another very encouraging sign is the eagerness 
with which the freedmen are availing themselves of 
the schools which are being opened for them through- 
out the South. They will go through any privations 
to save the necessary dollar a month, and the little 
children are very quick at learning to read. Negroes 
are by nature very imitative. They are quick at 
catching a tune or picking up a language. I have 
met a negro courier who could speak five languages. 
Formerly they had no facilities or encouragement for 
learning. The white population was itself very badly 
educated, for it was so thinly scattered that the 
establishment of schools was almost impossible, except 
for the class who were rich enough to be able to send 
their children to a distance. 

The following extract is from the last Report of 



Major-General Howard, Commissioner of the Freed- 
man's Bureau. He says : — 

' The results are full of encouragement. There were, at the close 
of the last school-term, in the thirteen States lately in rebellion, and 
including Kentucky, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, 975 
regularly organized schools, 1,405 teachers, 90,778 pupils. 

' This does not include many schools not regularly reported, espe- 
cially night-schools, and none of the large number of private and 
sabbath schools, now in operation. With great care in gathering 
information, we estimate that there are now 150,000 freeclmen 
and their children who are earnestly occupied in the study of books. 
There are also a considerable number of schools for refugee white 
children, and the formation of these is everywhere encouraged. . . 

' The well-known eagerness to learn, among the freedmen, is every- 
where apparent. As proof of this, while white schools at the South 
have always had vacation during the three hot months, in many in- 
stances schools for freedmen have been taught without intermission 
through the entire summer. Kentucky reports fifteen schools in 
August, South Carolina sixteen in July and August, Georgia twenty- 
one schools through the summer. Three of these were sustained 
by funds of the bureau, and the remainder by the freedmen them- 
selves — with over two thousand children in attendance. In Ala- 
bama there were twelve schools kept open ; seven of these being 
taught by Southern teachers, two by discharged soldiers, and three 
by coloured teachers. In Louisiana there were one hundred and 
seven schools in August, forty-seven of these being private schools, 
and paid for, of course, by parents of the pupils 

' It is worthy of note that during the last six months a change of 
sentiment is apparent among the better classes of the south in regard 
to freedmen's schools. The most intelligent concede that education 
must become universal. There are philanthropic and just men 
who would cheerfully give this boon to all. Many planters are con- 
vinced that it will secure to them more valuable and contented 
labourers. Leading statesmen are urging that these people will be 
a safer element in their midst if made moral and intelligent ; and 
religious conventions over all the South have passed 1'esolutions 

Schools for Coloured People. 275 

urging upon their members the importance of giving instruction to 
the negroes. 

' It is true that many who favour such instruction do it with the 
proviso that Northern teachers shall no longer be sent ; at least, 
that they themselves will assume the superintendence of the schools, 
proposing in some instances Southern instructors, either white or 
coloured. All this may be called a new form of opposition, and its 
motive does seem ambiguous. But if the State governments are 
ultimately to take upon themselves the education of these poor 
people, as they should, it is well they are making such a beginning. 
We are sure that the improvement of these privileges by the freed- 
men, their elevation of character, and good conduct as the con- 
sequence of instruction, will lead to the continuance of these 
privileges ultimately from the best and highest motives. 

' We cannot conceal the fact that multitudes, usually of the lower 
and baser classes, still bitterly oppose our schools. They will not 
consent that the negro shall be elevated. He must, as they conceive, 
always remain of a caste in all essential respects beneath themselves. 
They have been taught to believe this, and belief now is strength- 
ened by both prejudice and passion. 

1 While, therefore, deploring what remains of ill-will towards our 
schools, in some places still exhibiting violence, we have to con- 
gratulate the true friends of the country in view of the immense 
results obtained. They indicate the dawn of a brighter day, not 
only for the negro, but for all the South.' 

If the negro dies out, there is an end of him. and 
all the troubles he has caused, at least as far as 
America is concerned. If he survives, what is to be 
his future 1 At the present time there can be no 
doubt that the black race is inferior to the white. 
That it is inferior in mental vigour is proved by the 
fact of its former contented servitude ; that it is in- 
ferior in bodily stamina is proved by the statistics of 
mortality in the Northern armies, according to which 

T 2 


under the same conditions, the number of deaths in 
hospital among the black troops was double the mor- 
tality among the white men. 

Will he become blended with the white race, and 
be gradually absorbed by intermarriage, as the Ger- 
man and the Irish element do, losing their nationality 
in the next generation, and becoming fused into one 
homogeneous mass \ There does not appear to be 
any probability of it. No white man ever marries 
a black woman, and the instances of a white woman 
marrying a black man are rare and exceptional. There 
has been at present no intercourse between the races 
except such as takes place between an inferior and 
a superior race. The mixed race is the result of the 
intercourse between the white man and the negress, 
and this will not effect the absorption of the whole 
black race. 

Suppose the half-breeds to increase largely in num- 
bers, will they form a link between the black man 
and the white, and promote friendship between the 
two ] In Mexico the,, greatest of the many causes of 
anarchy has been the existence of the large class of 
half-bloods, now more numerous than the Indians. 
They are so numerous as to possess practically a cast- 
ing vote, and having neither principle nor stability, 
side first with the Spaniard and then with the Indian, 
according as their interest suggests. 

Will the negroes gather themselves together in 

His Future. 277 

communities, and occupy the low hot fertile rice lands 
in the South, where the white men cannot live ; and 
so play a useful part, utilizing valuable lands which 
without them must henceforth lie waste % It is to be 
hoped that the Government will take measures to pre- 
vent it. The moment the pressure of the white race 
is removed from them they would relapse into savage 
life. To attain to better things and a higher culti- 
vation, they must be mingled with the whites, and 
have industry and education forced on them. The 
more they are separated, the more debased and an- 
tagonistic will they become. The most serious symp- 
toms of negro outbreaks which have occurred have 
been in the Sea Islands where the negroes have 
collected together in consequence of a proclamation 
of General Sherman's. A black prophet and a reli- 
gious revival might lead to any amount of bloodshed. 
The natural home of the negro in Africa is supposed 
to be on the alluvial plains near the great rivers ; but 
it is a curious fact that in similar places in the 
Southern States they did hot multiply. They were 
most prolific in Virginia. It was where the white 
man lived and cared for them and their offspring 
that the greatest number of slaves were reared. If 
they continue to exist in America, the negro must 
live as a distinct race among a people superior to him- 
self. It is difficult to find in history an instance of 


two distinct races with equal rights living peaceably 
together as one nation. 

The Americans have done already things which 
S~ other nations have found impossible. It may be that 
/ they will succeed in this also ; and there is no race so 
pliant, so docile, and free from offence, as the negro. 
The danger will be from the unscrupulousness of poli- 
ticians. When once the negro vote in the South has 
become organized, like the Irish vote in the North, 
it will be as great a nuisance to the nation. If the 
freedmen, as they increase in intelligence, become 
factious and impracticable, they will find themselves 
moving towards Liberia faster than the Mormons 
went to Utah. That which cannot be assimilated 
N^ must be cast out. 

Their wisest advisers will be those who urge them 
to keep quiet and avail themselves of the means of 
education now open to them : not to separate from 
their white neighbours, but to make themselves first 
useful to them, and then indispensable : not to think 
too much of Freedmen's Conventions at Washington, 
or negro candidates for the Vice-Presidency ; but to 
be as little conspicuous in politics as possible, and to 
bear in mind that if education does not precede an 
extension of the suffrage, it must follow it. 

There are at the present moment two gentlemen of 
colour sitting as members of the State Legislature in 

As a Politician. 279 

the State of Massachusetts, and the story of their elec- 
tion is very curious as the largest wholesale practical 
joke since the English traveller wrote to the ' Times' 
to describe the series of murders perpetrated in an 
American railway train. The republican party, to 
gratify those among their supporters who were suf- 
fering from what is commonly called ' Nigger on the 
brain,' nominated two coloured candidates, not in the 
least intending them to get in, but merely with a view 
to make political capital out of their nomination. 
The democrats, their opponents, saw the mistake in 
a moment, the wires were pulled and the word passed, 
and the democrats plumped for the coloured gentle- 
men, who were elected by triumphant majorities, to 
the dismay and discomfiture of their proposers. 

A practical joke once in a way is all very well ; 
but it is to be hoped that the white race in the 
South will before long accept the situation, and 
resume their political duties : for it would be a poor 
joke for them if possibilities were to be realized, and 
Congress were found after the next election to con- 
sist one half of Northern republicans and the other 
half of Southern negroes. 


In the Report of the Secretary of War, published 
at the end of the year 1866, no less than twenty- 
three large closely printed pages are filled with ac- 
counts of Indian depredations, the chastisement which 
followed, and the measures suggested for their pre- 
vention in future. While public attention was en- 
grossed by the war in the South, the Indians appear 
to have increased in audacity. Now the tide of 
emigration runs westward, all the stronger since a 
million soldiers have been mustered out of the ranks 
in the last two years. And those who remain in 
the service would prefer any other duty to that of 
coercing disaffected districts ; where whatever mea- 
sures they may take are sure to be found fault with 
by one half of the loyal men and the whole of the 
unloyal. It seems certain that there is a great In- 
dian war now begun, and it will be carried on with 
larger forces, and over a greater extent of country 
than has ever been attempted before. The Indians 

Approaching Indian War. 281 

themselves are fully impressed by the conviction 
that unless they make some united effort, they will 
be swept away and perish ; and are themselves 
taking the initiative, and commencing hostilities. 
And there is a general feeling among the Americans, 
that if there is to be a war, it will be far better to 
settle that business ' right off/ even at considerable 
cost, rather than to be annoyed and taxed for ever 
to pay for distant expeditions and frontier skirmishes 
as unsatisfactory and costly to them as a war in 
New Zealand is to us. 

At the close of the civil war, the whole territory 
of the United States was divided into five great 
military divisions ; and General Sherman was ap- 
pointed to the command of the ' Division of the Mis- 
sissippi/ which comprises all the States and Terri- 
tories west of that river and north of Texas. The 
following description of this district, and the policy 
he proposes to pursue towards the Indians, is 
taken from his Report to General Grant, dated 
November 5, 1866: — 

' In order to an understanding of the great military problem to be 
solved, I must state in general terms that this military division 
embraces the vast region from the Mississippi River to the Rocky 
Mountains, of an average breadth (east and west) of 1,350 
miles, and length (north and south) of over 1,000 miles, viz. 
from the south border of New Mexico to the British line. On 
the east are the fertile and rapidly improving States of Minnesota, 
Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas. Immediately on the west are the 


Territories and States of Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and the In- 
dian territory. The land on this eastern border is fertile and -well 
adapted to settlement ; but their western parts are a vast prairie, 
with good grasses, but generally devoid of trees or minerals, are 
subject to droughts, and are not inviting to settlers. Next in order 
are the mountainous Territories of Montana, Utah, Colorado, and 
New Mexico, composed of high plateaus and mountains, containing 
minerals of every kind, with forests of timber and numerous valleys 
susceptible of high cultivation, either by means of the ordinary rains, 
or the more certain system of irrigation that has been begun 
within a comparatively recent period, and has been pushed with an 
energy and success that promises the best results. These new and 
mountain Territories present a most interesting feature in our future 
development as a nation, and are in my judgment worthy the liberal 
and fostering care of the general government. Between these moun- 
tain Territories and those of the river border lie the great plains 
of America, which have been well mapped and described by the 
hundreds of explorers that have traversed them from the time of 
the expeditions of Pike, and Lewis, and Clark, as early as 1803, 
until the present moment. These plains can never be cultivated 
like Illinois, never be filled with inhabitants capable of self-govern- 
ment and self-defence as against Indians and marauders, but at best 
can become a vast pasture-field, open and free to all for the rearing 
of herds of horses, mules, cattle, and sheep. The mountain Terri- 
tories seem to be more rapidly improving and assuming a condition 
of self-protection and defence, because the people can acquire fixed 
habitations and their property is generally grouped in valleys of 
some extent, or in localities of mines capable of sustaining a 
people strong enough to guard themselves against the predatory 
bands of nomadic Indians. Still they occupy at tins time an 
isolated position, presenting a thinly settled frontier in every direc- 
tion, with a restless people bi*anching out in search of a better 
place, or of better mines. To defend them perfectly is an utter 
impossibility, and all we can do is to aid the people in self-defence j 
until in time they can take care of themselves, and to make the 
roads by which they travel or bring their stores from the older 
parts of our country as safe as the case admits of.' 

The Plains. 283 

To quote a description given me by a gentlemen 
who had travelled in the far West with Mr. Speaker 
Colfax : ' On this side the Rocky Mountains is a great 
tract some 500 miles in width called " the Plains/' 
The rainfall on the Plains is very small from May 
to October, averaging only one inch ; and, except 
at the water-courses, there is little vegetation there/ 

Mr. Hepworth Dixon's description of his journey 
across the Plains to Denver shows how few attrac- 
tions this district offers to the settler. The white 
man moving westward has not before him an ex- 
panse of fertile lands waiting for his plough, stretch- 
ing away to the foot of the Eocky mountains, but 
is approaching a tract 500 miles in width, which is 
in fact for six months in the year a desert. He 
is driving the buffalo and the Indian from the more 
fertile lands to the east. He has crossed the Plains 
and is already forming settlements on the other side, 
in the valleys of Colorado and New Mexico. It is 
necessary now to keep the communications open be- 
tween East and West. How is this to be done so 
long as the hostile Sioux are at liberty to wander 
nearly a thousand miles, from Minnesota to the 
Arkansas River 1 

General Sherman says : — 

' I propose the coming year (with your consent and with that of the 
Secretary of the Interior, in whose control these Indians are sup- 
posed to be), to restrict the Sioux north of the Platte [or Nebraska], 


west of the Missouri River, and east of the new road to Montana 
which starts from Laramie for Virginia City by way of Forts Reno, 
Philip Kearney, C. F. Smith, &c. All Sioux found outside of these 
limits without a written pass from some military commander de- 
fining clearly their object, shall be dealt with summarily. In like 
manner I would restrict the Arapahoes, Cheyennes, Comanches, Kio- 
was, Apaches, and Navajoes south of the Arkansas and east of Fort 
Union. This would leave for our people exclusively the use of the 
wide belt, east and west, between the Platte and the Arkansas, in 
which lie the two great railroads, and over which passes the bulk 
of travel to the mountain territories. As long as these Indians can 
hunt the buffalo and antelope within the described limits we will 
have the depredations of last summer, and worse yet, the exaggera- 
tions of danger raised by our own people, often for a very base 
purpose. It is our duty, and it shall be my study, to make the 
progress of construction of the great Pacific railways that lay in 
this belt of country as safe as possible, as also to protect the stage 
and telegraph lines against any hostile bands, but they are so long 
that to guard them perfectly is an impossibility, unless we can re- 
strict the Indians as herein stated. I beg you will submit this 
proposition to the honourable Secretary of the Interior, that we 
may know that we do not violate some one of the solemn treaties 
made with these Indians, who are very captious, and claim to the 
very letter the execution on our part of those treaties, the obligation 

of which they seem to comprehend perfectly 

' In the department of the Platte I propose that General Cooke 
shall continue to cover the building and engineering operations of the 
Pacific railway that is under construction up the Platte, and has 
accomplished 275 miles of road, substantially, this year; that he 
shall next year complete the wagon-road from Fort Laramie to Vir- 
ginia City, which the Indians give notice they will resist. They 
represent it as passing through the only remaining hunting-grounds 
they have ; but this road is necessary to Montana, and must be 
finished and made safe. It is on this road that we have encountered 
most trouble this year, and the Indians have killed Lieutenant 
Daniels, 18th infantry, twenty -four soldiers, and about twenty citi- 
zens connected with trains. All these deaths must be avenged next 
year. By reason of the discharge of all volunteers, and the late 

General Sherman's plans. 285 

period at which we were provided a regular army, we were too weak 
to attempt it this year, and must do so the next. 

' In the department of the Missouri General Hancock is charged 
with the protection of the Smoky Hill and Arkansas routes, and of 
the exposed settlements of Colorado and New Mexico. This is a 
most difficult problem. He will, of course, continue to give every 
assistance to the construction of the Union Pacific Eailway, now 
done to Fort Riley, and under contract for 250 miles beyond ; and 
he will do all that is possible to encourage and protect the settle- 
ments on the tributaries of the Upper Arkansas and along the 
eastern base of the Rocky Mountains. These are most important 
in a military sense, and they hold out the promise of a country that 
can now partially, and will soon be able to feed the men and horses 
needed in that hitherto desolate region at reasonable prices. Denver 
is already an important city, and the valleys of the Cache-la-Poudre, 
Thompson's Creek, Boulder, Fontaine-qui-buille, Huerfano and Pur- 
gatoire already present beautiful farms, and will, with some assistance 
and protection, soon be able to defend themselves as against any 
band of Indians likely to threaten them. But from all I can learn, 
New Mexico does not hold out the same hopes. It has been settled 
longer than Ohio, and yet remains poor and exposed, with but a 
thin line of fields along the banks of the Rio Grande, liable at all 
times to be swept by the inroads of the nomad Indians that sur- 
round it. The whole Territory seems a pastoral land, but not fit 
for cultivation. The mines undeveloped are supposed to be very 
valuable, but as yet remain mostly in a state of nature. We have 
held this Territory since 1846, twenty years, at a cost to the 
national treasury of full 100,000,000 of dollars, and I doubt 
if it will ever reimburse to the country a tithe of that sum. The 
entire population may be assumed at 100,000, and the minimum 
force required there will not fall much short of 2,500 men, which 
should be mostly of cavalry.' 

The Federal Government is alive to the impor- 
tance of its duty in watching over these settlements 
beyond the Plains, and Mr. King ; whom I met 
at Washington after his return from a six years' 


surveying expedition in Colorado and New Mexico, 
has been despatched again with assistants and escort 
to continue the surveys. 

The policy of General ShermaD, who has shown 
himself to be a man of action as well as ideas, is 
to cut the Indians in two, driving them north and 
south, and opening between the two a belt 200 
miles in width, lying between the Platte or Ne- 
braska Biver on the north, and the Arkansas Eiver 
on the south ; and thus protecting the two great 
lines of railroad which are striking West, the Pacific 
Eailway along the line of the Nebraska, and the 
Union along the Arkansas. 

If this policy be carried into execution, the Indian 
must make up his mind, either to perish or to give 
up his nomade life. 

The migrations of the Indians follow those of the 
buffalo. In spring the buffaloes go north, crossing 
both Arkansas and Platte Kivers, making for the 
Missouri ; in autumn they go south again. Will the 
age of railroads put an end to the migrations of the 
buffalo % or is the buffalo to continue to migrate, and 
the Indian to remain stationary % 

Humbolt has a curious note in Cosmos, vol. ii. 
note 455 :— 

'The American race which is the same from 65 deg. N. lat. to 
55 deg. S. lat., did not pass from the life of hunters to that of cul- 
tivators of the soil through the intermediate gradation of a pastoral 

Union Pacific Railway. 287 

life. This circumstance is the more remarkable, because the bison, 
enormous herds of which roam over the country, is easily susceptible 
of domestication, and yields much milk.' 

' Little attention has been paid to an account given in Gomara 
(Hist. Gen. de las Indias, cap. 214), of a tribe, living in the six- 
teenth century to the north-west of Mexico, in about 40 deg. N. lat., 
whose greatest riches consisted in herds of tamed bisons {bueyes 
con una giba).' (Note 455, vol. ii.) 

It might not be imagined at first sight that Eng- 
lishmen had much interest in the progress of the 
' Leavenworth, Pawnee, and Western Kailway/ as that 
part of the Union Pacific line now open used to be 
called. But this railroad, when completed to the 
Pacific coast, will realise the idea with which Colum- 
bus set sail to the West. It will be the shortest 
route from Europe to China. It is asserted that 
when the railroad is completed from Atlantic to 
Pacific, in the year a.d. 1870, the journey will be 
made from England to Hongkong, via New York and 
San Francisco, in thirty-three days. New York will 
then be the centre at which the trade of Europe 
and Asia will meet, the great exchange of the pro- 
ducts of the eastern and western world. The vessels 
are now on the stocks which, unless M. Lesseps can 
offer greater facilities via the Isthmus of Suez, are 
to carry the produce of China and Japan to San 
Francisco to be distributed to Europe from New 
York. The railway map ends for the present at 
Fort Eiley ; the present western terminus of the line 


being as nearly as possible half-way between the two 
oceans. But the continuation is a cherished scheme 
of Congress, and there seems to be no reason why 
there should not be an additional 200 miles opened 
for traffic every year. It would never do to have 
the Indians stopping the cars half-way. 

General Sherman proposes to drive the Indians 
north and south. In his Report to General Sher- 
man, dated August 11, 1866, General Pope thus 
urges the policy of setting them on reservations and 
moving them to the east rather than to the west : — 

' It is unnecessary to say that the past history of our relations 
with the Indians has made it clear that in the settlement of new 
territories, the time must arrive when the Indians are so pressed 
upon by the whites at so many points and under such circum- 
stances, that the security neither of white nor Indians is longer 
compatible with the wild life and wandering habits of the Indians. 
This unavoidable condition of things renders it necessary to restrict 
the Indian to certain limits, and to buy for the occupation of the 
white settlers the districts of country thus vacated by him. This 
necessity has given rise to the " reservation system," to which in the 
future, as in the past, all the Indians on the continent must be 
gradually subjected 

' Without going into particulars of history too well known, it 
may be stated as the result of this policy of locating reservations, 
that after a long period of bloodshed and horror during which the 
Indians were gradually driven from one reservation to another, the 
great tribes of Indians formerly occupying the region north of the 
Ohio and east of the Mississippi have been nearly exterminated, 
and the scattered and feeble remnants are now found distributed 
along the extreme western frontier of Kansas and Nebraska. 

' Of all the powerful and populous tribes which once inhabited the 
north-west, but a few hundreds of hopeless and helpless stragglers 

General Pope's plan. 289 

remain. Of the history of the white settlers, the pioneers of 
emigration in the great States of the north-west, it is unnecessary 
to speak. Such a record of nameless horrors, of gross inhumanity 
to whites and Indians, and of lavish and wasteful expenditure of 
public money, cannot at this day be read without astonishment 
and indignation. Such a process of extermination of both Indians 
and white men has never before been permitted to go on under the 
eyes of a Christian people, and it will long remain a reproach to 
this government. Feeble, worn out, and dispirited as we find them 
to-day, these wretched remnants of the powerful tribes once famous 
in our history cannot yet be left in peace. Some of them have 
already been removed to the Indian country west of Arkansas, and 
the remainder will soon follow, and it is hoped that they may there 
be permitted to die in peace, and their names and tribe be for- 
gotten. Very different was the history of the southern tribes and 
of the pioneers of Tennessee, Georgia, and other Southern States. 
Warned, apparently, by the deplorable results of the policy pursued 
north of the Ohio Eiver, the government, in dealing with the 
southern tribes, so far modified the system of reservation as greatly 
to obviate most of the evil results which had marked its operation 
south of the Ohio. 

'An extensive district of country west of the Mississippi was 
selected as specially Indian territory, and the southern tribes (after 
some fruitless efforts to control them in their own country) were at 
once removed to it without undergoing the intermediate stages 
which had marked in blood the course of the northern tribes. 
Compare the condition of the two branches of the same race, now 
first brought together in this common territory. The southern 
tribes are still numerous and powerful, and, as far as Indians can 
be, they are prosperous and progressive. 

' It is needless to repeat what I have said of the condition of the 
wretched fragments of the great northern tribes. Contrast, too, 
the history of the white settlers of the States north and south of 
the Ohio. In these differences will be found the different results of 
a policy of Indian reservations located in a country claimed by the 
Indians, from which they must again and again be removed before 
the advance of white emigration, and a policy which at once 
separates the races and removes the Indian to a region selected for 



- his sole occupation, and so remote from his original country that 
return is hopeless 

' Perhaps it will be well to detail briefly the course and results 
of this system. 

' An Indian tribe is collected together and placed upon a limited 
reservation in some part of the same territory ; once there, the 
Indian is partly subsisted by the Government and partly subsists 
himself by hunting. 

' The Indian is thus left in his own country, every foot of which 
is familiar to him ; he retains his arms and horses ; he must of 
necessity be permitted to indulge to some extent in his wild life 
and wandering habits ; he has nearly unrestricted access to the 
settlements upon which his depredations have been committed, and 
is nearly or quite free to maintain his intercourse with the wild 
tribes and to be subjected to all the influences of savage life. It is 
in human nature, too, that the Indian agent or the military com- 
mander placed in charge of a reservation of this kind should feel a 
pride in his administration, and in the good conduct of the Indians, 
and that he should be very unwilling to admit that depredations or 
outrages were committed by them. These reservations, therefore, 
soon become places of refuge for the Indian after he has murdered or 
robbed the white settlers. The advance of the white emigration presses 
more and more closely around the Indian reservations, and narrows 
the range of hunting-grounds of the Indian more and more, until 
each day makes it more difficult for him to supply himself with 
those articles of food which the government does not give him. 
The herds and flocks of the settlers, and their property of every 
kind which the Indian covets, are daily brought more nearly within 
his reach, and temptingly displayed under his very eyes. The land 
upon which his reservation is located daily becomes more valuable 
by the growth of settlements around it, and is therefore daily more 
coveted by the whites, who, in the exposed settlements and loose 
state of society on the frontier, are prompt to redress any petty 
theft or wrong-doing by a bullet. The relentless hate occasioned 
by the remembrance of violence and outrage committed by these 
very Indians, makes it impossible for the whites to understand 
that " the Indian has any rights he is bound to respect." But one 
result can follow from such relations between whites and Indians : 

General Pope's plan. 291 

day by day the difficulties and broils increase ; all crime committed 
in the whole country around is charged by the whites upon the In- 
dians on these reservations, until, after outrages and murders on 
both sides, and great suffering both to whites and Indians, it is 
finally found absolutely necessary to remove the Indian to another 
reservation more remote, where, in time, the same causes produce 
the same results, until the Indian tribe is totally exterminated after 
something like the extermination of the early settlers. It would 
be difficult to devise a system which could work more wrong and 
inhumanity to both races. Our past history is conclusive on this 
subject. The necessity of placing Indians upon reservations as soon 
as their relations to white emigration endanger peace, is freely ad- 
mitted. The question is, " Where shall such reservations be located, 
and under what conditions shall the Indians be placed upon them V 
A correct answer to this question will go far to solve the Indian 
problem. There are several elements which enter into the solution 
of this question. 

< i st. The Indian must be so placed that he can never again be 
brought into contact with white emigration, nor obstruct the settle- 
ment and development of the new territories. 

< 2nd. He ought to be placed where he can be subjected, under 
the most favourable conditions, to the influences of Christianity and 
civilization, and be taught to labour and to support himself. 

< 3rd. As he must, for a time at least, be supported by the 
government, he ought to be placed where provisions and other 
necessaries of life are cheapest. 

' 4 th. He should be placed where the smallest possible military 
force would be needed to control him until he had learned to con- 

trol himself. 

'5th He ought to be placed where sympathy and kindness are 
felt for his race, instead of relentless hostility j where society is 
established, and the laws thoroughly executed; where the great 
preponderance of the white population around him, and his security 
under the law, as well as his immediate and certain punishment for 
wrong-doing, would deprive him of the power, and, in time, of the 
inclination to indulge his savage propensities ; where all intercourse 
with the wild Indians, and all power to indulge his wandering 
habits, would be taken from him; where, in fact, he would be 

U 2 


surrounded only with the best influences, and could at least be made 
harmless member of the community, if he could not be made a good 
citizen and good Christian. 

' It is manifest that not one of these conditions could be secured 
under a system which should keep the Indian in remote districts of 
country, in front of the white emigration and in contact with the 
very advance of the white settlers on one side, and with the wild 
tribes of Indians on the other. 

' The plan which I propose differs from that which seems to have 
been determined on by the Indian department in this, that I pro- 
pose to remove the Indians of New Mexico, Colorado, &c, &c, to 
the east, instead of the west ; toward that portion of country where 
food and other necessaries of life are cheapest, instead of where 
these things are most expensive ; where the fewest troops, main- 
tained at the least expense, would be needed ; where the Indian 
could no longer be an obstacle to the settlement and development 
of the great mining regions, nor himself be subjected to that process 
of certain extermination which his obstruction to the advance of 
white emigration now renders inevitable, and where he could be 
placed under all the conditions most favourable to his welfare and 
security and to the safety of the frontier settlers 

' It is needless to say that it is not proposed to accomplish all this 
in a year, or in ten, or even twenty years. There are, and will con- 
tinue to be, wild tribes of Indians, whose existence in a wild state 
does not endanger the settlement of the country ; with these tribes, 
for the present, it is not proposed to interfere. The tribes to whom 
it is proposed to apply this system of removal from time to time 
are precisely the tribes which the Indian department propose to 
begin to place upon reservations — those tribes which are now so 
closely in contact with the whites as to endanger both races. 

' It is also needless to say that the main difficulty consists in col- 
lecting these Indians together and putting them en route to a reser- 
vation. Up to this point the plan of the Indian department and 
that suggested by me are identical, as is also the expense ; a com- 
parison, therefore, only begins at this point. When once the 
Indians are collected and ready to move, is it more economical to 
establish them where food is most costly, and where every necessary 
of life is an expensive article of luxury 1 where twice as many 

General Popes plan. 293 

troops would be needed, maintained at four times the expense ] 
where the Indians would continue to depredate upon the people, 
and be subjected to the same process of extermination as before — 
where they would obstruct the settlement of the country and 
jeopardize the peace of the future 1 Is it really believed that the 
additional expense of transportation over a few hundred miles would 
not be many times overcome within a year or two by cheapness of 
food and decrease of military force ? Is it really believed that a 
temporary arrangement, with all its evils, and, to say the least of 
it, partial security, can be better than a final and complete disposi- 
tion of the Indians 1 Or is there some other reason for establishing 
and keeping up these unsatisfactory reservations at remote points 
and at enormous expense, not dictated by humanity, economy, or 
wisdom, and in opposition to the whole experience of the past. 

' I presume that I should not differ much, if at all, with the Indian 
department as to the time when the relations of an Indian tribe to 
the white emigrants rendered it necessary to place the Indians upon 
a reservation. I only propose, when that time arrives, we shall 
make a final and complete disposition of that tribe at least, and not 
resort to a temporary arrangement, which is attended with little 
but evil. 

' It may safely be left to such persons as the government may 
select to determine the place where a reservation for any given tribe 
shall be established. Such places can be readily found along the 
Mississippi or Missouri. Only let the government adopt some 
policy which secures an end to Indian troubles and massacres, how- 
ever far in the future, and the details will readily be adjusted. 
Only let us have a final result, and not a temporary arrangement, 
which leaves the last state of the Indian and white man worse than 
the first.' 

At the present moment General Sherman is ac- 
tively engaged in carrying out his policy. He is 
now in the far West with a sufficient number of 
troops to effect it. His own feelings towards the 
Indians are well known, and are clearly enough 



indicated in his Report — * all these deaths must be 
avenged next year ;- they are so many wolves to be 
exterminated. There will be little mercy shown to 
the savage ; and, however terrible the retribution 
inflicted on the Indians, there will be no voice raised 
against it at Washington. The Fenimore Cooper 
age of belief in the noble qualities of the Kedskin 
has passed away, and will not appear again in 
American literature for some centuries. 



Headquarters Department of the East, 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 12, 1866. 

' General, — I have the honour to submit for the 
information of the general commanding in chief the 
following succinct report of military operations in my 
command during the present year : — 

' At the commencement of the year my command 
was the military division of the Atlantic, composed 
of the department of the east, the middle department, 
and the departments of Virginia, North Carolina, and 
South Carolina. 

' The only movements of any consequence were 
those made on the northern frontier with a view to 
enforce the neutrality laws. Early in April a de- 
spatch was received from the honourable Secretary of 
War, transmitting one from the collector at Eastport, 
Maine, reporting the concentration at that place of 


large numbers of strangers, believed to belong to the 
Fenian organization, and assembled with a view to 
organizing an expedition against the province of 
New Brunswick. At this time there was only one 
company of artillery at Eastport. I immediately 
ordered three additional companies from the nearest 
posts, and repaired myself to Eastport. On my 
arrival I found the collector, under the instructions 
of the Treasury Department, had seized a vessel 
loaded with arms and ammunition. 

* Being satisfied of the illegal character of the ex- 
pedition, I confirmed the seizure of the arms, placed 
them in charge of the commanding officer at East- 
port, and gave notice publicly that no violation of 
the neutrality laws would be permitted. These 
measures had the effect of causing the expedition 
to be abandoned, and the men composing it to return 
to their homes. 

' The arms seized were offered to the individual 
claiming them on condition of his giving security 
that they would not be employed in any illegal en- 
terprise. This offer has not as yet been accepted, 
and the arms are still under military custody at 
Eastport. On the dispersion of the expedition, the 
troops ordered to Eastport were returned to their 
former stations. 

' During the month of May several reports were re- 
ceived indicating the deposits of arms and collections 

Raid into Canada. 297 

of men at various points on the frontier of New 
York and Vermont. These reports, as received, were 
transmitted to Major- General Hooker, commanding 
department of the east, with instructions to investi- 
gate them, to seize all the arms and munitions of 
war, where there was evidence of their being des- 
tined for illegal use, and to take all necessary mea- 
sures to preserve the neutrality as far as the means 
within his control admitted. 

'On the ist of June, while at West Point, I received 
official information of the crossing at Buffalo, New 
York, of an armed body of Fenians ; at the same 
time information was received of the concentration of 
large forces in the vicinity of Ogdensburg, New 
York, and St. Albans, Vermont. I at once directed 
Major-General Hooker to send all the available force 
in his department to the frontier, and proceeded my- 
self to Buffalo. On my arrival at Buffalo, on the 3rd 
instant, I found that the armed men who had crossed 
were captured by the United States steamer Michi- 
gan on their attempting to return the night previous, 
and being satisfied the movement at Buffalo was 
a feint, I left that place on the evening of the 3rd, 
and reached Ogdensburg the next day, the 4th of 

'On my arrival at Ogdensburg I learned of the con- 
centration of large forces at Malone, New York, and 
at St. Albans, Vermont. Finding the small force at 


my command inadequate to prevent a crossing, I 
directed my subordinate commanders to station their 
commands to the rear, on the main lines of travel, 
and issued the most stringent orders for the seizure 
of all arms and munitions of war, and directed the 
stopping and turning back of all suspected parties. 
These duties were successfully executed, large quan- 
tities of arms and munitions being seized at various 
points. No opposition was offered, except in one in- 
stance, when an armed party of Fenians seized, at 
Watertown, New York, a locomotive, and proceeded 
to Cape Vincent, and there recaptured two car-loads 
of arms which had been sent there for security after 
seizure by the deputy-marshal at Watertown. On 
learning these facts, I despatched Major J. Stewart, 
commanding three companies of artillery, in a special 
train to intercept the Fenians on their return, but the 
latter, learning of Major Stewart's movement, aban- 
doned the train with the arms, and escaped by 
scattering over the adjacent country. 

' On the necessary authority being received from 
the War Department, and the appearance of the 
President's proclamation on the 6th of June, I 
ordered the arrest of the principal leaders at 
St. Albans and Malone, and issued a proclama- 
tion commanding the dispersion of the assemblages 
at these places, and offering transportation to their 
homes to such of the men as would abandon the 

Raid into Canada. 299 

expedition. These measures had the effect to suppress 
the expedition, no effort being made to cross except 
that of a small inefficiently armed body under a 
General Spear, who crossed the boundary line near 
Franklin, Vermont, and remained for a day on the 
other side in the vicinity of the line, recrossing on 
the advance of the British troops. The expedition 
being abandoned, the men returned to their homes, 
mostly furnished transportation by the Government. 
This was deemed the most expedient course, for 
though the conduct of the men composing the expe- 
dition had, up to the time of its abandonment, been 
most exemplary, it was feared so large a body, esti- 
mated as high as 10,000, if left on the frontier with- 
out means of return, would become riotous and 
disorderly, requiring, to preserve the peace, the call- 
ing out the militia, which I was anxious to avoid on 
the ground of economy, as well as other reasons. 
After the men composing the expedition had all 
been sent home, the troops were returned to their 
former station.' 


April 15, '6j. 
Dear , 

You seemed struck the other day with what I 
told you as to the feeling in America about the 
Alabama business. You can make whatever use 
you please of the following memorandum : — 

During the last four months I have been both in 
the Northern and the Southern States, and have 
been staying in New York, Boston, Baltimore, Phila- 
delphia, and Washington. I have talked with a 
good many Americans on the subject of the Ala- 
bama claims, and the feeling evinced, and the pas- 
sion shown by one or two of them, convinced me 
of the importance of an early settlement of the matter 
in some way or other. I understand that when 
Mr. Shaw Lefevre was in Washington he was 
astonished at an outbreak of temper by Mr. Seward 
when the subject of the Alabama was mentioned. 


Since the attack made upon him at the time of 

Mr. Lincoln's murder, and since the death of his wife, 

which was caused in great measure by over fatigue 

in nursing him after that attack, Mr. Seward, it is 

said, has never been the man he was before, and his 

temper has been so little under control, as to cause 

considerable uneasiness to his friends ; but I have 

heard other American gentlemen use language quite 

as unmeasured when the Alabama was mentioned. 

On points of national pride Americans are far more 

sensitive than we are. Their feeling is that when 

they were down and in distress, France took a dirty 

advantage of them in the invasion of Mexico, and 

England in the matter of the Alabama. The French 

have evacuated Mexico, and England must now be 

called to account. This is the general feeling of the 

nation ; besides this, there is the special grudge 

among the ship-owners whose trade was diverted into 

English bottoms, and among the merchants whose 

goods were burnt. A war with England, attended 

by reprisals on English commerce, would be, as 

they think, for the interest of both merchant 

and ship-owner ; further, it would give them a 

chance of revenge, which Americans love more than 


With all this, there does not exist among them any 
serious belief in the probability of a war with Eng- 
land ; but it would take very little agitation to make 


them think of it seriously. Some American poli- 
ticians are wondrously unscrupulous ; and the Irish 
vote is necessary for success at the next election. The 
next election is two years off ; but the canvassing has 
begun long ago. When a member of Congress in- 
troduces Roberts on the floor of the House ; when 
General Banks proposes to 'scale down' the neu- 
trality laws to the level of Great Britain ; when the 
President sympathises with a Fenian deputation, — 
these are all moves to catch the Irish vote, and by 
Americans are appreciated as such. The Fenians are 
the laughing-stock of the Americans, but most 
Fenians have votes. They have nothing in America 
corresponding to our Foreign Enlistment Act ; and 
when General Banks talked of ' scaling down ' the 
American neutrality laws, he talked nonsense either 
wilfully or ignorantly ; our neutrality laws being in 
many points more stringent than the American. They 
have no law enabling the authorities to put down 
Fenian meetings, drillings, or processions. They can 
do no more than prevent any invasion of British 
territory. This I imagine they will do faithfully 
and efficiently now as before. I sailed from New 
York on March 20th ; two days before that, it was 
stated in the newspapers that 500 troops were 
sent to the Canadian frontier. The American Ex- 
ecutive do not desire to be involved in a war with 
England ; but what they and all other politicians 


want is a good electioneering cry to captivate the 
Irish vote. 

For this purpose they will probably select the Ala- 
bama business. At the present time, although there 
exists a strong feeling in the public mind, that feel- 
ing is not so strong as to preclude a fair settlement 
of the question ; but every day, as time goes on 
and the election approaches, that settlement will be- 
come more difficult. Unless something more avail- 
able turns up, that ' difficulty' will be brought more 
prominently forward, and will be dragged before the 
public by every republican newspaper and at every 
public meeting. Americans do not form opinions for 
themselves ; they never read more than one news- 
paper ; they give themselves very little time to 
think, but let their editor lead them by the nose ; and 
there is an Irishman upon the staff of nearly every 
newspaper in America. 

Probably the American Government will be in no 
hurry to conclude the question. It may be that they 
will try and postpone the settlement in order to 
make use of the cry at the election ; and in that 
case the national feeling having by that time 
grown with the agitation, it may ultimately not be 
in the power of the American Government to deal 
temperately in the matter, even should they be so 

The Americans are capable of a stronger love and 


a stronger hate for England than for any other 
nation ; and I really think it may depend somewhat 
upon the speedy settlement of the Alabama claims 
one way or another, which it shall be. 

I remain, 

Yours, &c, 

H. L.